Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

Port hears city's plan to run treatment plant pipe along railroad right of way

DAYTON – The Columbia Port Commissioners held their regular meeting at 5 p.m. on July 11, 2023, in the port office. Commissioners present were Genie Crowe, Seth Bryan, Johnny Watts, and the Executive Director, Jennie Dickinson.

Dayton Mayor Zack Weatherford gave a presentation on using the port’s railroad right-of-way to lay sewer lines for the city’s new wastewater treatment plant project. The pipe would generally be laid on the north side of the track connecting the gravity sewer line at Commercial and Stedman Roads to the area near the proposed discharge point for the plant. The port commissioners did not object to the plan.

The commissioners had discussed a letter Dickinson had written supporting the sale of the Columbia Pulp property to any buyer who planned to use the facility for manufacturing rather than sell the property and equipment piecemeal. Watts thought Dickinson overstepped her authority by sending such a letter. Dickinson said the letter was within her purview as the Economic Development Director. The two other commissioners did not question her power to do so.

During the discussion of the Lyon’s Ferry Campground, Watts repeated his demand to see the documentation that KOA requires the existence of pull-through campsites for their franchisees. Watts seemed concerned that the operators were misleading the port into assisting with improvements at the Port-owned facility and questioned if KOA requirements existed.

The KOA standards, including the requirement for the pull-through site, can be found at

Dickinson informed the commissioners that she is participating as a steering committee member for a regional tourism marketing effort called “Visit Walla Walla Project.”

Dickinson said there had been a tour of the colocation center for the port’s broadband project before the meeting. Representatives from the three participating service providers, PocketiNet, Columbia iConnect, Inland Cellular, and contractors involved with the project’s construction, were at the tour.

Kelly Hinds was given an emotional farewell by those present at the meeting as she retired from her position.

The next meeting of the Port Commissioners is scheduled for 5 p.m., August 9, 2023.


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