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Governor Kotek moves to save container service at Port of Portland with a $40 million investment

Oregon – Governor Tina Kotek has announced a significant proposal to invest $40 million in state funds to ensure the continuation of container service at Port of Portland’s Terminal 6. This proposal comes in response to the Port of Portland’s announcement in April that container service would end in October. The proposed funding aims to address the economic challenges faced by the terminal and support Oregon producers who rely on Terminal 6 to ship their goods.

Breakdown of the Proposed Investment

Out of the total $40 million, $35 million will be included in the Governor’s 2025-2027 recommended budget. Additionally, $5 million will be requested from the legislative Emergency Board during its September meeting.

Governor Kotek emphasized the importance of this investment, stating, “After the Port of Portland’s April announcement that container service would end this October, I heard from scores of producers throughout Oregon that relied on Terminal 6 to ship their goods. Having represented the Port’s home district in the Oregon Legislature for many years, I understand that the terminal’s location makes container operations at Terminal 6 economically challenging. In response, I am proposing to invest $40 million in state funds to allow container service to continue and communicate my expectations for reliable and sustainable service moving forward.”

Support from Port of Portland and Legislature

The proposal has received strong support from the Port of Portland and legislators. Port of Portland Executive Director Curtis Robinhold expressed gratitude for the Governor’s support, saying, “We’re grateful for Governor Kotek’s declaration of support, and her commitment to maintaining this important piece of our economy. We are also extremely grateful for the strong backing from a bipartisan group of legislators who recognize the value of trade to businesses and communities throughout our state. With the support of the Oregon Legislature, container shipping at Terminal 6 will continue, along with the benefits it provides for Oregon businesses and the quality jobs it provides for our community. This level of government and community support is something Oregonians should be proud of.”

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Allocation of Funds

Of the $35 million included in the 2025-2027 budget, $20 million will be allocated to a capital program that supports ports with active container service. The remaining $15 million will be dedicated to initial state funding for costs associated with the Lower Columbia River Channel Management Plan. The $5 million requested from the legislative Emergency Board will go toward the operations of Terminal 6.

Accountability and Future Plans

Governor Kotek has also requested a comprehensive report from the Port of Portland on the ongoing operations and progress at Terminal 6 by August 23, 2024. This report must detail the steps taken by the Port of Portland to engage with impacted stakeholders, implement a business plan to reduce losses in the 2025 budget year, and increase the number of containers moving through the terminal.

The proposed $40 million investment by Governor Kotek is a crucial step in maintaining the viability of container service at Terminal 6, which is vital for Oregon’s economy. The support from the state government and legislators underscores the importance of this initiative for local businesses and the community. As the plan moves forward, the continued collaboration between the Port of Portland, state officials, and stakeholders will be essential to ensuring the long-term success and sustainability of Terminal 6 operations.

Orion Hargrove

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