Columbia dredging

In this TDN file photo from 2015, the dredge Oregon works in the Columbia River off the Port of Kalama.

Port of Longview commissioners Wednesday approved a 20-year agreement with four other ports to purchase a land easement for a dredge disposal site on Puget Island.

Longview port will contribute about $174,400 toward the purchase, which is the final property the five lower Columbia River ports are required to provide for maintaining the Columbia River channel deepening project. That project is a joint effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the “sponsor ports” (Longview, Kalama, Vancouver, Woodland and Portland).

Providing sites for the dredge material is one of the ports’ responsibilities for the project, which deepened the shipping lanes by three feet, to a minimum depth of 43 feet.

The Vik property, which is owned by Philip and Ivy Vik, is an 86-acre site that will provide storage of about 3.5 million cubic yards of dredged material. That much material would raise the whole site about a foot if spread evenly over all 85 acres.

The Viks, the ports and Corps agreed on a sale price of $695,000, which will be shared among the ports, according to a Sept. 4 memo to port officials.

The Port of Kalama approved their share of the purchase (about $185,000) earlier this month. The Port of Vancouver will also pitch in about $174,400, and the Port of Portland will use grant funds to cover about $179,900 for the purchase.

The Port of Woodland was not required to contribute funds toward the Vik property because it does not have a deep water dock.

Some Puget Island residents have publicly objected to the plans to use the Vik property to store dredge spoils, and the Port of Kalama’s approval of funds earlier this month reignited their displeasure, according to reports by the Wahkiakum County Eagle.

However, Wahkiakum commissioners approved the appropriate land use permits last year and spent little time addressing more recent complaints at a Sept. 17 meeting, according to the Eagle.

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