An expansion of FedEx Ground’s small package distribution center is planned for 4.38 acres near the Nez Perce County jail that the Port of Lewiston agreed to sell Thursday for just shy of $800,000.
About a dozen jobs may be added, and potentially more, said Jada Leo, president of Westmoreland Co., the Huntsville, Ala., company purchasing the land for $791,790.12.
Leo participated in Thursday’s port commission meeting by Zoom and indicated he couldn’t speak on behalf of FedEx Ground, which will be his company’s tenant at the site.
The addition appears to be about one-third the size of the existing FedEx Ground building, Port Manager David Doeringsfeld said.
It will have parking for both delivery vans and vehicles of FedEx Ground employees and drivers, Leo said.
“We look forward to working with you successfully on (the) expansion of our existing project,” Leo said. “It’s been a long-term relationship, very positive.”
Earlier in negotiations with Westmoreland, port officials had asked if the project could be moved north, closer to the Lewiston Hill, so a portion of land with a river view could be saved for a tenant with more of a direct need for it.
That change proved not to be possible, Doeringsfeld said.
“I’m not disappointed with the way it turned out,” he said.
In another matter, port commissioners approved a settlement agreement with Omega Industrial, where the port will pay the company $51,732.
The settlement follows an Oct. 23 incident in which a wind tower section hit the ground while being unloaded with the port’s crane.
In mid-January, Omega documented $103,464 in expenses related to the incident, according to the settlement, in which neither side admitted any wrongdoing.
About the same time, the port advised Omega it possessed no liability, according to the settlement, which Doeringsfeld described as fair.
“Nobody is going to litigate,” he said. “We’re going to just put this aside.”
Even after the claim, the port netted about $200,000 in revenue from the project that involved unloading 126 blades and 168 wind tower sections from barges.
The cargo came from the Port of Longview up the Columbia and Snake rivers and was trucked to Alberta, Canada, in shipments that in some cases were as long as three standard semitrucks.
There’s a possibility the port could see more business from Omega this year, Doeringsfeld said.
“It’s great that we still have that relationship and will expect further partnership with them,” Port Commissioner Mary Hasenoehrl said. “I think it’s the way to go.”
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