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News / Northwest

Port of Longview to bid on Millennium Bulk Terminal land

By Marissa Heffernan, The Daily News, Longview
Published: February 11, 2021, 4:36pm

LONGVIEW — The Port of Longview will bid on the old Millennium Bulk Terminals land, which could dramatically increase the size of the port, port commissioners decided Wednesday.

A 540-acre parcel recently went up for sale when the parent company filed for bankruptcy.

The motion to submit a bid got a unanimous vote at Wednesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting after an executive session to discuss the plan. Executive sessions are not open to the public, but if the port is successful in its bid, it will bring the matter back in open session.

Commissioner Doug Averett said the bid was “a no-brainer.”

“We could absolutely utilize that land in the future or even sooner, so it just makes sense for us to look at this property,” he said.

Commissioner Allan Erickson added that he was “excited about the prospects of this potential acquisition.”

Millennium’s assets, including the 540 acres of land it was leasing from Alcoa on the former Reynolds Aluminum Co. site, reverted to Alcoa in January after Millennium’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

As the land is still tied up in the bankruptcy court, all bids are sealed and it’s a silent bid processes, meaning bid price and acreage cannot be publicly shared until the bankruptcy court releases the information in March, according to port staff.

The port currently owns 835 acres at its main location, not counting land at Willow Grove and Barlow Point.

Improvements to Willow Grove Park are also going well, the board heard Wednesday. Commissioner Jeff Wilson motioned to ask staff to get estimates to add 10 more cameras to the park for safety, which the other board members passed.

Port Director of Facilities and Engineering Bill Burton said that the old wooden dock has been replaced with a steel frame, high-density polyurethane floats and a see-through grating. The restroom upgrades are also in progress, with crews remodeling the interior, adding foundations, building a covered porch area and giving it a sloped roof.

“We had been having some maintenance issues with the flat roof,” Burton told the board, adding that the first bathroom should be done in the next three months.

Burton said crews had also nearly finished the gravel trail that runs the circumference of park. In the next half a year, he said an overlook will be added so people can look up and down stream more easily.

“In the next three to six months you’ll see a whirlwind of activity out there as we finish up our grant,” he said.

The final touches will happen in 2022, when the port puts up education signs when all the other improvement work is complete.

The board also approved spending about $213,000 to replace the backup water main at Berth 5 and 6.

This project will replace about 1,500 feet of 10-inch plastic pipe with 12-inch iron pipes as part of a 2017 plan to upgrade aging water systems and ensure there’s enough water flow to handle a fire at critical port facilities, according to port documents.

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