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Port eyes new meeting space next to existing Columbia City office building

With capacity being tested, commission embarks on office expansion plans

Photo Credit: FILE - Tammy Maygra of Deer Island addresses the Port of St. Helens Board of Commissioners in the current meeting room during a September meeting. The port hopes to construct a new meeting building that would allow more room for public members.Columbia City’s planning commission is slated to consider a Port of St. Helens application to construct a new meeting building.

The nearly 2,000 square-foot building would be constructed adjacent to the port’s current office location on E Street in Columbia City.

Patrick Trapp, the port’s executive director, said Wednesday, Nov. 5, that the agency budgeted for the new building as a capital improvement during its latest budget cycle. He said early estimates indicate construction of the new building could cost between $300,000 and $400,000.

“The original plan was to have something a little smaller, but the commissioners asked us if it was going to be big enough to fully accommodate all of our needs,” Trapp explained. He said recent meetings in the conference room at the port’s current office are an indication of the need for more capacity.

At least twice in the last three months, visitors have had to crowd in the hallway when chairs in the meeting room filled up.

Trapp said the new building would include an executive room, a commission room and two bathrooms. An additional 19 parking spaces would be created, to provide one more space than city standards require, according to a planning commission report on the proposal.

The property is currently zoned for industrial use.

He said the port has conceptual plans and elevations to show what the building would look like.

“The planning commission will review that. If that’s approved, we will then turn around and look at putting out a [request for proposal] for construction,” Trapp said.