Express your opinion about preserving valuable farmland for future generations, and ensure commissioners vote down Port Westward rezone

On Nov. 8 I attended the Columbia County Board of Commissioners meeting regarding the rezone of farmland at Clatskanie. The Port has been pushing for years to turn prime farmland into industrial use.

The nagging problem for the Port is that there is no access for the 800-plus acres to the deep water dock on the Columbia River.

The Port wants the commissioners to approve the rezone, with the promise that eventually they will be able to work out a deal with Portland General Electric to allow access to the dock. At risk are agricultural entities — organic blueberries and mint — that will not be able to survive under the industrial conditions.

The meeting was so well attended that additional chairs were brought in. Many attendees gave thoughtful testimony, questioning the Port's tactics. Of those who spoke, all opposed the County Commissioners approving the Port's request — with the one exception of the Port's attorney.

This decision is in the hands of the county commissioners: Henry Heimueller, Alex Tardif and Margaret Magruder. There is another meeting scheduled for Nov. 29. If you can

attend, please do. If you cannot, please contact the commissioners

in the meantime to voice your concerns.

We need votes from the commissioners that show their concern for the farmers and all citizens of Columbia County. Our commissioners ran on the side of farmers, so they should be held accountable.

Cathy Pitkin


Contract Publishing

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