Potential buyers for port properties and a vote to consider acquisition of two city entities were topics of conversation at the Port of Siuslaw Commission open and closed meetings Wednesday night.
After an executive session, commissioners decided to direct Port Manager Robert Forsythe to begin talks with the city about acquiring the Florence Events Center and the Florence Municipal Airport, both of which are struggling financially. Commissioner Fleenor left during the executive session, so was not present for the vote.
“I think that it’s appropriate that the port assist and try to help the city and community to retain and enhance both of these properties, and I think we have the abilities, the know-how and the management to do such a thing,” said the port manager.
City Manager Jacque Betz said Friday she had been contacted by Forsythe and that a meeting will be scheduled for sometime next week.
Although the idea is a new one, it did not blindside her.
“I don’t think anything surprises me, especially with all the attention on the Florence Events Center. I wouldn’t rule out anything at this point,” said Betz. “We will just have to see where the talks lead us before considering bringing a report to the council.”
“Our meeting will be preliminary to gather facts. We don’t know the situation in terms of liens, etc., or whether it is at all feasible,” said Forsythe yesterday.
Other possibilities for real estate transitions concerned the 40 acres owned by the port in Pacific View Business Park. The port manager reported that an “adjoining company” is considering expanding on a portion of the port-owned site. The port will also begin talks this summer with Central Lincoln PUD about purchasing 10 acres at the park. For the complete article see the 04-20-2013 issue.
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