The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Port Building Faces Hurdles

Blue Mountain Station Bldg. 2 held up over cost of power connection


February 22, 2018

Dayton- Allen Litzenberger, of Tucannon Development, LLC, was invited to last week's meeting of the Port of Columbia Commissioners to discuss his company's progress on constructing Building No. 2 at the Blue Mountain Station.

Port officials impressed upon Litzenberger, the importance of completing the project, to their satisfaction.

"We don't have the power to build it out," Litzenberger explained to Port officials. Litzenberg was referring to electrical power.

He said his company would "never have taken it on", if he had known he had to pay the costs associated with providing electricity to the building, which requires installation of an electrical transformer, and vault, costing around $24,000.

"We build buildings on developed property," he told the commissioners.

Litzenberger said because the Port is the developer, it is the Port's responsibility to make the power available. Port officials disagreed, stating that according to the lease agreement, Litzenberger is the responsible party.

Port Manager JennieDickinson reminded Litzenberger that in August of 2017 the Port paid $4,000 to have the electrical vault placed, as a measure of good faith.

The commissioners asked Litzenberger about progress he is making on marketing the building, and he said there is one potential tenant.

"We can bring you the leads, but we can't close the deal for you," Dickinson reminded him.

Port Commission Chairman Earle Marvin said, "We need to live within the four corners of the lease document that has been signed. It's what the lease says, so please move forward."

Commissioner Marvin asked Litzenberger to provide Port officials with a timeline, and "get the electricity into the building, as soon as possible." Marvin called the lack of progress on the building, "an embarrassment".

Litzenberger signed a lease agreement for the land in November of 2016.

"He had already brought some supplies to the site, and he started pouring concrete footing after that," said Dickinson. "Then we had our really hard winter, and nothing happened until the spring. He got the frame and metal siding on, roof on, and doors on the front, and then he just seemed to stop.

The 6,000 sq. ft. building has four 1,500 sq. ft. spaces for lease, but Dickinson said potential tenants are discouraged by its unfinished condition.


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