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Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
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January 26, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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January 26, 2018
 

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26 January, 2018 THE QUODDY TIDES Page 11 Wood chip shipments eyed for this year by Edward French Chris Brown will represent Eastport at Se- The proposal to ship wood chips atrade, in hopes of"being a voice to small through Eastport to China is in "the later ports." stages of development," Chris Gardner, Confirmed cruise ship visits at the East- executive director of the Eastport Port Au- port breakwater this year are: Hur- thority, stated at the board's January 22 tigruten's Fram on April 21; Blount Small meeting. On January 11 project represen- Ship Adventures' Grande Mariner on July tatives from China flew into Eastport and 13 and 15; and the Pearl Mist on Septem- toured the port facilities. "They left ex- bet 24 and October 18. Gardner expects tremely impressed with what we have the number of visits may grow. here," said Gardner. "They feel we're the The first scheduled port authority bus only port on the East Coast that's truly tour will be a Red Sox trip on September ready to handle this business." He adds, 14, and others may be scheduled previous "We're the only port in the state ready to to that date. go tomorrow. That's such a competitive The inner basin at the breakwater is advantage." finished, following the completion of fin- "It's only with the investments we've ger pier reconstruction. All vessels can made to date that the port is getting the now be moved to their long-term berthing looks now," he says, referencing the port's locations. Morrison Manufacturing will phytosanitation equipment and bulk con- now work on floats for the north side of veyor system, which can load ships with the breakwater, to be ready for the coming products like wood chips. Wood chip ship- summer season. ments to China, though, would not need Scallop draggers from other ports that to be phytosanitized, as that country does are berthing on a transient basis at the not have the same restrictions as the Euro- breakwater have added several thousand pean Union on importing wood chips, dollars to the harbor account, with the "The fiber need overseas is growing at breakwater currently at capacity for ber- an exponential rate," Gardner says. "I'm thing. Board member Bob Peacock noted confident this will happen," he adds, not- that on one recent night he counted 56 ing that the port authority is hoping the boats berthed there, and more transient shipments can begin during the second boats came afterwards. quarter of this year. Knowing that it has A total of 308,230 metric tons was been expected that wood chip shipments shipped through the port during 2017, and would have begun sooner than this, Gard- Federal Marine Terminals is forecasting ner says that the reaching of an agreement 312,000 for this year. The year started off "is getting closer every day." strong, with 37,000 tons expected to be In addition, two inquiries have been shipped in January. made to the port authority about shipping Because of changes in U.S. Customs logs to China, with Federal Marine Termi- and Border Protection rules, the port au- nals pricing the cost and the port authority thority will be hiring some back-up driv- then submitting offers. The logs would be ers to assist, when there are crew changes from under-utilized trees in the state, so for ships in port, in taking crew members the shipments would not compete with the to the Bangor airport. fiber supply for the Woodland Pulp mill. The old rock-filled fuel pier at the former U.S. Navy base in Cutler is being Other business tom down, and the port authority has re- Gardner related to the board about is- sues that had been brought up at a recent school board meeting about the boiler in- stallation at the high school that the port authority agreed in 2016 to donate time and resources to assist with. "It is unfortu- nate that there has been a lot of misinfor- mation around this situation insinuating that somehow the port or its employees were somehow fee-for-service on this project. We are not in any way, shape or form. This is a pure donation of port re- sources to assist in the project." He said any delays in the project "are not due to anything the port authority has not per- formed upon." He noted that a Freedom of Information Act request has now been made to the port authority seeking infor- mation about the port authority's payroll and other matters. Noting that meeting the FOIA request will involve legal costs, he pointed out that the port authority had been trying with the boiler project to keep costs down for the taxpayers of Eastport. Tom Critchley, who has served as oper- ations manager at Federal Marine Temli- nals for a long time, is now the official general manager, replacing A1 Day, who has retired. Gardner also noted that Roger McIver, the transportation director at the Woodland Pulp mill, is retiring. He said that McIver has been "one of the greatest assets in the port-mill relationship." Gardner recently discussed with Patrick Arnold of Cruise Maine his concerns about the Seatrade Cruise Global trade show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla where East- port has been lumped in with larger re- gional and Canadian counterparts, thus losing the port's unique branding. Gard- ner had been considering not attending this year. Arnold assured Gardner that Cruise Maine would be putting a new em- phasis on small ports at the conference, and it was decided that both Gardner and ceived an inquiry about offloading in East- port the gravel from the barges working at the site. New technology using cell phones, costing $1,500, is being installed on the two tugboats that will allow the systems on the tugs to be monitored remotely. Following an executive session, the board agreed to give Gardner a $30,000 bonus, the same as the last two years, with his salary remaining at $86,500. The board also reelected its current officers: John Sullivan, chair; Jett Peterson, vice chair; Bob Peacock, secretary; and Dean Pike, treasurer. PleASE PATRONIZE OUR ADVERTISERS "Bmllllg on 28 years of Experience" Constraction Services Additions. Decks. Roofing Siding. Garages. Concrete Driveway Sealing sonal Senlm Opening & Closing Camps Dock Installation & Removal Caretaking General Clean Up Bree leellng Bllnlales Don't wait until it's too late. CALL NOW!! 207-249-8623 . Easlport "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE~" was one of the chants led by Anne Hopkins that participants in the Women's March proclaimed during the march through Eastport. (Robin Farrin photo) Invasive pest guide now available in area The Washington County Soil and Wa- This Asian beetle threatens nearly all ash ter Conservation District is cooperating in North America. with other districts across Maine to alert The district has prepared free packets landowners and communities to the threat of information that can be picked up at the of invasive forest pests. The area is famil- district office in Machias or at several up- far with the spruce budworm from past coming events. For additional informa- events, but there are several others species tion, please contact the soil and water that can be very destructive. The emerald district in Machias at 255-4659 or e-mail ash borer has done considerable damage . in southern New Hampshire. It could be transported into Maine with firewood. USDA grant to fund Perry elected to home rehabilitation county committee The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development grant pro- Washington County U.S. Department of gram has awarded $20,000 to Downeast Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agen- Community Partners to rehabilitate and cy (FSA) Executive Director Valerie Par- repair 17 homes in Washington and Han- ter has announced that County Committee cock counties. The grant will be used in elections are over and the ballots have conjunction with a Community Develop- been counted. Leon Perry of Addison was lent Block Grant and other funding elected to represent local administrative soarces for anticipated leveraged funds to- area (LAA) #1. taling $196,000. rmmm I I I I I I immiiiinimmiunniiii e mii I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I wi ,'l(l I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Address I I I I I I I I I I Zip or Postal Code ~ m Clip and mail to: The Quoddy Tides, Box 213, Eastpori, Me 04631 m m Or subscribe through our website: www.quoddytides.comm $35 a year in Washington County, Maine (tax included) m $42 a year outside of Washington County $42 a year in Canadian funds m If paying far MORE THAN two subscriptions, m $30 for each additional subscription m mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm~mmJ kmmlm