August 25, 2023 — A new crane will soon be part of the Port of Newport International Terminal (NIT), as Port Commissioners voted Tuesday to replace an older, undersized crane with a newer model.

Used extensively to load equipment onto ships at NIT, the crane is a vital piece of equipment both for the Port and its users. Port officials say an increase in mechanical problems with the existing crane was due in part to larger loads pushing capacity limits. Thanks to NIT Facilities Manager Don Moon, a 2021 model was located at great savings to the Port.

Director of Finance Mark Brown outlined the benefits of the purchase in a report to the Commission. “The Port has found an opportunity to purchase an unused 2021 Grove GRT655L with a one-year factory warranty,” he explained. “The Port will save approximately $200,000 by purchasing this older model of crane versus a 2023.”

Delivery will also be much quicker, as new models can take up to a year to receive. The 2021 model should arrive in a matter of weeks, at which time the Port’s existing crane will be sold. Director of Operations Aaron Bretz estimated a resale value around $150,000.

Under Oregon law, the Port was able to bypass the competitive bid process since the unique opportunity to obtain a more recent model with minimal hours at significant savings required a swift decision. Port Commissioners voted to approve the “special procurement” and authorized purchase of the crane with a unanimous vote.

In other business, Port Commissioners received a presentation from Oregon State University Intern Madeline Judokusumo, who has spent the summer analyzing waste disposal around Port facilities. Judokusumo provided an overview on the types of waste gathered at the marinas and other facilities and outlined the disposal costs incurred by the organization as a result. In addition to traditional trash, the Port also manages fish waste (referred to as offal) from fish cleaning stations and gathers recyclable oil.

As part of her report, the intern also provided options for improving recycling and suggestions for offsetting the costs of disposal. She also made recommendations to improve user participation in proper recycling practices and explained how important user participation is to the process.

“We put up fish offal totes next to the fish cleaning station. We do already label them that we expect people to just dump fish waste, but it is hard to control. We still have trash in fish totes which sadly makes our fish offal totes have no value. We couldn’t recycle it. We couldn’t sell it to anyone else who might benefit from it. They all just go to a landfill,” she said.

Judokusumo fielded questions from Port Commissioners and summarized her experience by saying that it is feasible to improve the system but “we need the cooperation of all the facility users, the team, and all of the visitors to our port.”

Cooperation was also the theme when the commission approved a memorandum of understanding with Surfrider Foundation to allow it access to Port property for the purpose of bay clean-up. Previously, an application had to be made each time Surfrider, in conjunction with SOLVE, wanted to gain access. This will allow clean-up efforts to proceed without any advance application.

The monthly meeting began with a public hearing on a change to the Port’s bylaws. The subject at hand was the position title for General Manager Paula Miranda. Following the public hearing, for which there were no comments, the commission voted unanimously to change Miranda’s title to executive director.