Port commissioners voted four to one to hold the ground lease for NEXT Renewable Fuels, Inc. until next port commission meeting on August 28, where the lease will be on the agenda again as a resolution.
Port Vice President Robert Keyser was not in favor of tabling the resolution, because he said he thought the commission had enough information to approve the ground lease that day.
Port President Larry Ericksen said he knew new port commissioners Nancy Ward and Chip Bubl would feel more comfortable voting if they became more familiar with the lease.
During the meeting, 12 people made public comments, including Columbia County residents and dignitaries such as Chuck Daughtry from the Columbia County Economic Team; Greg Hinkelman, Clatskanie City Manager; Bob Brajcich, Mayor of Clatskanie; Dan Serres, Conservation Director for Columbia Riverkeeper; and Lou Soumas, President of NEXT Renewable Fuels.
Public commenters voiced both support and concerns for the ground lease.
After port commissioners voted to table the lease, they discussed various revisions to the lease at length, while making no final decisions.
The Chief will update this ongoing story, both at thechiefnews.com and in Friday's print edition.