Port of Tacoma extends contract to address logistics center concerns

One week after nearly 300 people turned out for a meeting to discuss a proposed logistics center in South Puget Sound, Port of Tacoma Commissioners Thursday approved a request for authorization to extend the value and length of an existing contract with a communications firm that will assist the port in answering concerns presented by citizens at that meeting.
The contract, which is an agreement between the port and Barney & Worth, a communications consulting firm with offices in Portland, Ore., and Olympia, was originally valued at $100,000 and set to expire Feb. 28. It will now be continued through Mar. 31 for a cost not to exceed $40,000, according to Rob Collins, the port’s director of intermodal services.
On Jan. 31, the ports of Tacoma and Olympia held a joint meeting in Lacey to discuss four sites in Thurston County for a proposed rail cargo logistics center. One site is proposed to be built on land in Maytown, and purchased by the Port of Tacoma for $22 million two years ago. The issue has drawn the attention of two citizens groups — Friends of the Port and Friends of Rocky Prairie — concerned over the potential impact of increased truck traffic on the area. At that meeting, the port opted to collect questions from citizens and respond to them at a later date.
A second meeting is scheduled Feb. 20.
According to Collins, port staff are currently working to answer the questions collected at the Jan. 31 meeting in time for the next meeting.
“This is a full-court press to get the answers out there,” said Collins. “We’re working on the responses.”