Port receives funds to develop Hambleton cleanup plan

Grant will also pay for analysis of Sixth Street site

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The Port of Camas-Washougal has received a $200,000 grant that could lead to the cleanup of the former Hambleton Lumber Company site.

Port Executive Director David Ripp announced receipt of the grant from the Washington Department of Ecology during the July 5 port commission meeting.

Commissioners are expected to approve a professional services agreement with Maul, Foster and Alongi July 19. The consulting firm would analyze the site and determine a cleanup plan.

According to Ripp, the port is exploring the opportunity to acquire, cleanup and redevelop property along the waterfront that extends east of its existing marina and connects to port-owned property at Sixth Street in Washougal.

Goals for the project include cleaning up historical contamination, providing public access to the waterfront, restoring riparian habitat and connecting port land holdings to the east and west.

“These are opportunities that would not occur if grant funding was not available,” Ripp said.

The grant provides funds for the planning process that incorporates cleanup activities with the reuse of property. The resulting plan would outline a strategy to solve problems that stem from contamination. The plan may address habitat restoration, site work for recreational use and infrastructure development as part of the overall cleanup process.

The plan would also include funding strategies for multiple grant and loan opportunities to see the project through to completion. The port will use the DOE grant to conduct environmental due diligence on the property, lead a community involvement process to envision conceptual future use of the site and prepare a strategy for redevelopment.

In June, the Washougal City Council approved the rezone of a parcel totalling almost 15 acres, previously occupied by the Hambleton lumber mill at 335 “A” St. The decision changes the zoning from heavy industrial to highway commercial.

Mike Reinhart, a real estate consultant for Hambleton Brothers Lumber Co. LLC, has acknowledged there have been “many inquiries” about the property.

“Nothing is set in stone yet,” he has said. “There is still a lot of work to do.”

The mill, which closed in the summer of 2010, was operated by Hambleton Lumber Sales LLC.