A proposal to compile a Strategic Master Plan for the Port of Willapa Harbor involves a series of steps which lead to the inevitable creation of a document the port can use to shape its future. The final document serves as a resource the port can use to address specific present and future port objectives. The document will inevitably consist of several sections which are intended to provide details, such as a complete inventory of the present port facilities. The plan addresses the question of what does the port want to be in the future and gives options about how to get there.
One of the most important things a port must do is serve as a catalyst for the future industrial growth of itself and local industry. In my opinion, they go together. The port is a leader and must stay a step ahead of other ports by anticipating the present and future demands of local industry. The port must be attractive to new industry, in part by projecting an image of a place where new industry can thrive. The port must stay in a position where it has the maximum degree of flexibility, (at a minimum expense) while providing the maximum number of options to accommodate present and future port tenants. Only then can the ports future be completely secure.
To begin the process of developing a strategic master plan, an initial inventory of the ports present assets and capabilities must be completed. An inventory of port assets reveals what the port has under its present control, where these resources are located and it tells us where effort should be placed to obtain additional information, such as tenant occupancy and satisfaction. An estimate of the ports present level of service and capabilities give a good indication of how the port can begin to become more attractive to new industry and leverage its present situation into something better.
With a plan we can answer the questions: what exactly are the ports assets, what are weaknesses in the present infrastructure. How does the community fit in with the ports goals? What capital investment does the port require in the immediate and distant future? How can the port optimize what its got now? Are there land/buildings the port should abandon, exchange or acquire? Are the present port facilities in alignment with the future? If not, what must be done to make it so?
A strategic plan, in part begins to address deficiencies in the ports present capabilities. But how does the present level of service and infrastructure change into what must be required of the port in the future? At what capacity does the port need to function in the future? Does the present infrastructure fully serve the ports present needs? Will the planned future infrastructure realistically meet future needs?
Step 1: Collect data including an inventory of existing Port properties, sample lease documents from other Ports, tenant surveys, similar port jurisdiction documents such as strategic plans.
Step 2: Develop base maps for Port properties, facility blueprints/site plans.
Step 3: Assess potential properties for future Port development and mitigation banking.
Step 4: Organize documents, identify and acquire the missing pieces
Step 5: Community meetings/review process
Step 6: Develop and draft a Port Strategic Plan with goals and recommendations
Step 7: Develop a capital facilities program for each major Port facility.
Step 8: Finalize document