In News, Waterfront

Port investments support economy, quality of life in Ridgefield

Port staff wrapping up 2022 projects and looking ahead to 2023 projects

The Port of Ridgefield was created by voters in 1940 to increase economic development opportunities within the City of Ridgefield and surrounding areas. Since then, the port has invested in land, buildings, docks, roads, and other infrastructure to support the movement of goods, attract employers to our community, and strengthen the local economy.

Eighty-two years later, we are still building and maintaining public facilities that support economic activity and quality of life in Ridgefield. This includes leased buildings, our boat launch and associated amenities, broadband internet infrastructure, fencing, and signage. We’ve completed several projects this year, including:

  • Constructing four miles of fiber broadband, connecting the Washington State University Vancouver campus to the main regional internet backbone
  • Adding 1.1 acres of gravel lot at the waterfront to repair the protective cap and increase the capacity of the overflow parking area
  • Securing the waterfront property, including installing gates and fencing, to prevent unauthorized vehicle access
  • Installing new, clearer signage at the boat launch
  • Restriping the boat launch parking lot
  • Installing new floors in the boat launch restrooms
  • Painting the interior and exterior of the port-owned Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) regional headquarters building
  • Restriping the WDFW parking lot
  • Securing the Pump House on Lake River from vandals and trespassers

We anticipate completing several additional projects by early 2023, including:

  • Installing two electric vehicle charging stations at the Wisdom Ridge business park
  • Replacing old landscaping mulch at the WDFW building and Wisdom Ridge business park
  • Constructing a railroad safety fence along the railroad tracks between the downtown and waterfront
  • Installing fencing for at least four port neighbor residences as part of the continuing environmental cleanup at the waterfront
  • Adding new wayfinding signs on the waterfront
  • Constructing new seating along the waterfront trail, made from reclaimed driftwood
  • Installing security cameras at the boat launch
  • Installing all new fixtures in the boat launch restrooms
  • Painting the women’s restroom at the boat launch
  • Painting the boat launch restroom building exterior

Investments like these are strategically planned by port staff and approved by our Board of Commissioners as part of the annual budget process. This process typically begins in the summer, with discussions in public meetings about revenue, expenses, capital improvements, and the district tax levy. The port holds a public hearing on the preliminary budget, and the commission typically approves a final budget in early November.

We have developed a preliminary 2023 budget and are approaching the public hearing and final approval in the next few weeks. Our top priority next year reflects the number one priority our community shared with us this past year: creation of an 8-acre waterfront park. Other investments you’ll see reflected in next year’s budget include keeping the waterfront planning process moving forward and making investments in aging infrastructure, including repairing the boat launch day dock, continuing to upgrade restrooms, and replacing aged port vehicles and equipment to better maintain public assets for current and future customers and Ridgefield residents.

The port’s Board of Commissioners will discuss the preliminary budget and hold a public hearing on Nov. 9. We encourage you to attend the commission meeting to learn more and provide your comments on our 2023 budget and investment priorities.

View the port’s preliminary 2023 budget here. Learn about our commission meetings and submitting public comments on our public meetings page.

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