ILWACO - During public comment at the Port of Ilwaco Commissioners meeting Monday, Ilwaco resident Don Berger stated that he has been in correspondence with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association in hopes of learning how to create an industrial park near the Port of Ilwaco airport.

Though Berger said he was unsure of the port's financial status, he was curious if the port would be interested in a feasibility study for a possible industrial park, which could bring additional revenue to the port. He also noted that hangar rental space averages about $250 per slot.

"It seems like a pretty good investment for a metal building on a slab of concrete," agreed Port Manager Jim Neva.

In addition to determining what other items could be stored in hangars, Neva added that it would be beneficial for them to look into current flight patterns and the surrounding properties.

Charter-fishing operator Milt Gudgell expressed concern for the port's safety by reporting that open containers of oil and fuel, some as large as five-gallon cans, have been found unattended on port docks. He noted that he recently discovered a few containers and fuel filters near the Sea Venture dock, which if knocked into the water, would create a hazard and require the appropriate emergency response.

"It's just something we need to be aware of," said Gudgell.

"You did right by making us aware of it," replied Commissioner Dave Nichols.

Neva agreed and said that anyone who spots similar incidences can notify him by phone.

Port Finance Director Melissa Stern reported that the port's overall operations revenue is down 6 percent than the estimated 2007 budget while the annual moorage revenue is up by $5,500.

Among business items, port commissioners voted to remove a boat from port property. Stern stated that the boat was "not seaworthy at all" and the owner had not paid their bills since March.

In his operation's report, Neva updated the board on his recent travels to a variety of meetings, workshops and seminars across the state. On July 19, he expects to spend most of the day meeting with legislators during their congressional tour of Peninsula ports. Neva reported that a new restaurant is in the port's future and the Precision Approach Path Indicator light installation at the airport is complete.

Neva also reminded everyone that the Waterfront Barbecue and Dance will be held Aug. 4 at the port.

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