Port plans new industrial park

On Dec. 28, the Port of Hood River finalized the purchase of a vacant lot just east of Wal-mart on West Cascade Avenue.

Dave Harlan, port director, said the five-acre parcel is one of the largest remaining contiguous pieces of light industrial land inside the city's Urban Growth Boundary.

He said the port paid $680,405 for the new property which already has full city water and sewer services. He said the site will be turned into a business park that will provide tenants with easy access to both the community and Interstate 84.

"Diversifying the economy while retaining and expanding local industry are identified goals in the Hood River County Economic Development Plan," Harlan said. "And they are part and parcel with the port's core economic development mission."

Harlan said the port hopes to bring in employers that will lower the county's existing high unemployment rate by providing good paying jobs that will also boost the area's average wage and hourly income, which runs substantially below that of neighboring counties.

He said the port's first step toward accomplishing that goal will be to improve the site with roadways, curbs and other infrastructure necessary to attract light manufacturing occupants.

"It is essential to have ready-to-build industrial property," said Port Commission President Bill Lyons.

Lyons said the recently acquired land complements the port's almost completed planning efforts on the shoreline of the Columbia River.

"As we prepare to re-zone the Hood River waterfront for mixed use development, we want to make sure we have adequate light industrial lands available to meet demand," he said.

The port is now setting up meetings with potential tenants, many from companies already operating in Hood River County that have been seeking room to expand operations. Harlan said the public entity also plans to market the site to firms outside the area.

The new port property, which lies just north of Wasco Street and east of Rand Road, was lightly forested for years and did not become a part of the commercial development that arose along nearby Cascade Avenue. It was purchased by the Houston Equity Corporation in 1990 and remained zoned for light industrial uses.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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