Harbor District to reconvene Economic Development Committee


Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation Commission to Reconvene Economic Development Committee 


On Monday, July 15 at 6 PM the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Commission will reconvene its Economic Development Committee to explore the current range of opportunities for job creation around Humboldt Bay.  A secondary focus will be how the assets of the Harbor District in Fields Landing, Woodley Island and the Samoa Peninsula could be better utilized to generate revenue and create jobs in a mode compatible with the local communities.  Membership of the committee will be comprised of public sector economic development experts, private business owners from around Humboldt Bay, and various other interest groups.


Commissioner Richard Marks will chair and Commissioner Patrick Higgins will also serve on the Economic Development Committee.  The Harbor District formed the Economic Development Committee in 2009 and a final report and Action Plan were published in May 2010, which are available on the Harbor District’s website at  HYPERLINK “http://www.humboldtbay.org” www.humboldtbay.org.  While the committee will use the prior report as a foundation, Commissioner Marks notes that “The Economic Development Committee will also need to look at what has changed in terms of the economy and the community that might change prospects for different development opportunities evaluated previously.”


The July 15 kick off meeting will feature an overview by Harbor District Chief Executive Officer Jack Crider, who assumed the leadership position in May of 2012 after four years at the Port of Astoria, where he lead revitalization, and 16 years as the head of the Tillamook Bay Harbor District.  “Jack brings a lot of economic development ideas to the table and his addition is one of the reasons reconvening the Economic Committee makes sense at this time” said Commissioner Higgins.  The first meeting will also seek consensus among committee members on subjects that should be covered while the committee is convened.


Subjects for discussion for the Economic Development Committee include Port infrastructure and projected trade, light industry potential, aquaculture and expansion of tourism.  Tourism currently brings $80 million annually into the Humboldt County economy and creates approximately 5,000 jobs.  Options that might help increase tourism will therefore be the subject of discussion by the committee, including construction of trails, completion of the Humboldt Bay water trail, and development of a museum and working historic railroad.  The focus of the committee will also be on maximizing productivity of Harbor District assets and to create more jobs and generating revenue.  Consequently, some meetings will focus on development of Fields Landing, Woodley Island and Samoa Peninsula properties, which will include consideration of compatibility with surrounding communities.


Meetings will be held the second Monday of every month starting at 6 PM at the Harbor District’s Woodley Island Marina Conference Room with the first meeting on July 15.  The Harbor District Commission is recruiting specific members of the community to serve on the Economic Development Committee, but two seats are also being left open for the public.  Anyone interested should submit a request in writing before July 10 to the Harbor District office or via email to kfarrell@humboldtbay.org.