Serving Whitman County since 1877

Port eyes expansion at Central Ferry

Port of Whitman County officials are looking into a possible expansion of port facilities at Central Ferry. The port has its eye on 120 acres of Army Corps of Engineers land located north of the port site at Central Ferry plus the long-closed Central Ferry Park.

The Central Ferry park, which is located across Highway 127 from the port’s developed property, has been closed to the public for several years.

Port Executive Director Joe Poire reported port commissioners and staff have discussed whether the port should look at the potential uses of Army Corps of Engineers’ land at Central Ferry.

Poire recommended to the commissioners that the port should retain a Washington, D.C., law firm to discuss the potential use with the corps. Although plans are preliminary at this point, the port has hired the Lindsay-Hart firm in Washington, D.C., for the negotiations.

Poire said the port has no definite plans for the former Central Ferry Park at this time, but noted it would not continue to be a park.

“We have no plans about what it would look like,” Poire said. “This is in our long-term strategic plans.”

Poire said port commissioners decided to hire the attorneys to better negotiate any potential uses of corps property at Central Ferry rather than going through the corps’ Walla Walla district office.

The Port of Central Ferry now consists of 147 acres of developed land, divided into 18 industrial lots. Grain storage consists of 4,632,000 bushels and present tenants are Central Ferry Terminal Association, Central Ferry Dry Fertilizer Storage, McGregor Company, NuChem, Cooperative Agricultural Producers and Wilbur Ellis.

Barge, rail and truck access are available. Rail access is via the Camas Prairie Railroad spur line. The rail spur was upgraded in 2004. There is county road access to the site.

Port officials at earlier sessions this year have lamented the lack of development sites along the river. Most sites at port locations from Central Ferry upstream to Clarkston are now occupied.


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