May 19, 2019 — The May Port of Siuslaw Commissioners meeting took place Wednesday evening, with an agenda that included the selection of a waste hauler and a decision on accepting a bid for a major upgrade to the dock behind Mo’s.
There were just over a dozen members of the public in attendance, but none came forward to speak directly with commissioners during the public comments part of the meeting. Commissioner Bill Meyer facilitated since Commission President Terry Duman was absent.
The evening began with the financial report presented by Port Administrative Assistant Kelly Stewart. The report highlighted the arrival of expected reimbursement funds from Business Oregon for $21,500 and FEMA for $64,530. Stewart also reported that campground occupancy was up 7 percent and moorage rental was down slightly.
The commissioners accepted Stewart’s report and approved the monthly expenditures of $55,304.
Following that approval, the commissioners heard a short presentation from Maureen Miltenberger, Chairperson of the Florence Environmental Management Advisory Committee (EMAC) and member of the Siuslaw Climate Alliance.
Miltenberger introduced herself and then thanked commissioners for allowing her group the use of the port-owned grassy area next to the boardwalk for last month’s Earth Day celebration.
The event took place under less than ideal conditions as the weather was breezy and chilly, but Miltenberger was positive about the event and the support.
“We wanted to thank you for letting us use the boardwalk and the preparation that happened right before it, so we got to use the electricity, which was great. We just wanted to really thank the commission for letting us do that,” she said. “We had over 20 presenters, dancers and bands and the enthusiasm of the participants and the people who were there was awesome.”
Miltenberger also expressed the hope that the port would support the event next year.
Meyer thanked Miltenberger for her efforts and said he hopes that the weather might be more cooperative in the future.
The second presentation of the evening was the reading of a proclamation issued by Port Manager David Huntington, recognizing the week of May 18 to 24 as Safe Boating Week in Florence. The importance of boating as a recreational and commercial option for residents and visitors to the area was mentioned as just one of the positive impacts that boating as an activity has on our local economy and culture.
Senior Chief Jay Nilles, officer in charge of U.S. Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River, was on hand to accept the proclamation. Nilles spoke briefly of the strong connections between his command and the city and residents of Florence and one of his primary tasks, keeping the waterways in and around the city safe and navigable.
“We’ve had a long-standing relationship with the port and the community, and we receive great support from both the port and the community,” Nilles said. “We monitor (the Siuslaw River) bar very closely. ... We make sure we can get people in here or keep them out, because we just want to keep people safe. That’s important for us because the more recreational traffic we can get across that bar safely, is better for the port and it’s better for the community.”
The commissioners then turned their attention to selecting a waste hauler for the district. There are two waste removal companies serving the Florence area, County Transfer and Recycling (CTR) and Central Coast Disposal (CCD), and representatives of both companies made brief presentations to the commissioners.
Dave Twombly, owner of CCD, spoke first and pointed out that CCD is completely locally owned and staffed, employing 14 individuals. He went on to suggest that more of the money paid to his firm would stay in the community then his competition, which is based in Texas.
Twombly also mentioned CCD had previously worked with the port as the district’s hauler and had enjoyed a good working relationship with them over the years. The earlier contract with CCD was not renewed because the bid request included cost estimates for the maintenance of portable toilets, which is not a service offered by CCD.
That service is not part of the port’s current bid request.
Brian Enochian, operations manager for CTR, followed Twombly and made a strong case for retaining CTR as the hauler for the port. His presentation highlighted the importance of the contract to CTR and made his desire to retain the contract clear.
His willingness to submit to the port a lower bid price was explained reasonably as an effort to offer the lowest price point possible. He went on to suggest a later discussion with the city might accept Enochian’s reasoning for classifying the waste removed from the port differently, resulting in a lower cost.
After both companies made their case for approval, they answered a couple of follow-up questions regarding pick-ups during busy periods and clarification of the rate structure used in submitted bids.
Huntington recommended the bid from CCD as his preference, based primarily on staff input. With little further debate, the Port Commission unanimously voted to award the new contract to CCD.
Among other business, the port’s long-range plan to increase the number of rental sites is progressing.
Huntington next presented cost estimates for one element of the plan, the installation of electrical stations for the recently completed “C” row. The port has received bids for the requested modifications, so the commissioners discussed the cost of installation.
Commissioner Craig Brandt expressed concern that more information was needed to adequately determine which bid to accept. Brandt felt the cost for other aspects of the project, specifically the cost of “trenching,” was needed to select an electrical vendor.
A discussion followed as Meyer believed a decision could be made on the agenda item, suggesting bids for trenching were due and could be considered separately.
However, as talk continued it became clear that Brandt’s position carried merit and the need for a later meeting was agreed upon and scheduled for May 20.
Improving the walkway and docking area around Mo’s Restaurant was the most expensive action item of the night. Huntington reported that surprisingly, only one bid was received for the project. That singular bid was submitted by Oregon Marine Construction (OMC) and totaled nearly $160,000.
The long-term, positive relationship between Brien Mill, OMC’s Florence Operations lead, and the staff at the port was part of the discussion that followed. The timeline for the project was explored and Huntington said the work will begin in September and should last about a month. The commissioners then approved the OMC bid.
Huntington continued by updating commissioners on the much-needed dredging of the port’s docking and egress areas.
“We are first on the list for the dredging and there might be a little more money available, but we are definitely at the top of the list,” he said. “We already have a dredge waste site picked out. … We don’t have a permit in place at this time, but hopefully we will soon.”
The project will begin in mid-November and could continue until February, according to Huntington.
Commissioner Craig Zolezzi then gave updates on the Fourth of July Fireworks process, indicating there were no apparent obstacles to the display and that the needed certifications and permits required was progressing well.
Commissioners were pleased with staff’s extra effort to make sure Florence had a fire-works display this year.
Huntington added his belief that the proper paperwork was forthcoming.
The meeting was then adjourned.
The Port of Siuslaw Commissioners will hold a Budget Meeting and a Special Session Meeting this Monday, May 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Both meetings are open to the public. For more information call 541-997-3426 or visit