Using a $29,750 port planning and marketing grant from the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, port officials brought in consultants from Cook & Associates of Astoria, and Portland-based Mitchell Nelson Group LLC to develop the strategic plan based on input from port and city officials, business owners, and residents during a public input process that began February 28. The essential components include future utilization of currently vacant property; expansion of the marina and provisions for “transient moorage”; public open space, accessibility, and facilities; development and design guidelines; and potential funding sources.
The plan includes a set of guidelines for port officials to use in reviewing building and site design proposals. It also incorporates public use aspects to balance economic and community benefits.
The process wrapped up in June with the publication of the plan.
Port Manager Bud Shoemake said now it’s time to begin an all-out marketing effort to entice prospective developers, investors, and grants to put the plan into action. Many folks – among them port commissioners Gregg Harrison, Chuck Gerttula, Jim Buzby, Stu Strom, and Cody Gray – provided input on the way to forging the strategic plan.
Clearing the channel and working toward sustainable development is the heart and soul of the newly hatched waterfront strategic plan.
By coordinating with other economic development efforts within the city, and continuing the cooperation between city and port officials, Shoemake is certain they can move toward a thriving, diversified Toledo by making full use of the waterway that first put the city on the map when it was founded more than 100 years ago.
By Terry Dillman, Newport News-Times