An orthodontist’s plan to open an entertainment center is progressing even though an agreement he had with the Port of Lewiston has expired.

Dr. Bret Christensen is working on an agreement for 10 acres of port land in North Lewiston that would be leased to him for $50,000 a year, said Port Manager David Doeringsfeld at a Wednesday port commission meeting.

Those talks are continuing even though a six-month agreement that gave him right of first refusal for the land expired in March. Christensen is obtaining cost estimates for his plans and seeking financing.

“It’s going a little slower than he had anticipated,” Doeringsfeld said.

Christensen, who resides in the Lewiston area, did not attend the meeting. The 51,000-square-foot center would feature a laser tag arena, an arcade and a “polished casual” restaurant that would serve beer and wine. The center would also have two go-kart tracks and games, such as table tennis, bean bag toss and pickleball.

Doeringsfeld provided the update at a meeting where port commissioners passed a $1.88 million budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The largest sources of revenue in the budget are from operations of the port’s dock and a large warehouse ($556,500), property rentals ($428,166) and property tax revenue ($405,000).

Annual revenue at the port’s dock is expected to rise from $178,700 to $256,500. The increase comes from a new tenant, ALTA Forest Products, based in Chehalis, Wash., which manufactures wood fence boards.

The port is earning $2,000 each for two barges that are being loaded with cedar logs each month and $15,000 a year for a 2-acre land lease.

Yearly property rental revenue is forecast to drop from $482,446 to $428,166 while annual property tax revenue is set at $405,000, the same as this year.

The decrease from rentals is happening because Paper Tigers is vacating space at a building sometime during the upcoming fiscal year that also houses the skating rink for the LC Amateur Hockey Association.

Paper Tigers cuts large rolls of paperboard from Clearwater Paper into smaller rolls and sheets. It is relocating to a building that’s closer to the mill, Doeringsfeld said.

On the expense side of the budget, land acquisition and development represent the biggest share of expenditures at $827,250. The largest share of that money ($500,000) is going to an expansion of the port’s fiber optic network.

Salaries and benefits are the second-largest expense totaling $423,565. Doeringsfeld is the port’s highest-paid employee, earning $117,422 in the upcoming fiscal year, not counting benefits.

Commissioner Jerry Klemm praised the emphasis placed on increasing telecommunications infrastructure in the budget.

“I’m just glad we’re able to do that,” he said.

Williams may be contacted at ewilliam@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2261.

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