Port of Camas-Washougal leaders plan to make good use of a recently released economic impact study on the Port’s industrial park, airport and marina.
John Martin and Michael Sarbaugh of the Pennsylvania-based consulting firm Martin Associates presented the economic impact study findings during the Oct. 18 Port Commission meeting.
The group’s report showed that the Port’s industrial park, airport and marina support 2,055 jobs (including 1,190 “direct” jobs), $457.6 million of direct business revenue and $11.7 million in state and local taxes, according to the study, which also reports that nearly 87 percent of the “direct” jobs are held by Clark County residents.
The study concluded that the industrial park creates 1,891 total jobs (1,125 “direct” jobs), $3,942,940 in business revenue and $10,643,000 in state and local taxes; Parker’s Landing Marina creates 111 total jobs, $7,677,000 in business revenue and $722,000 in state and local taxes; and Grove Field creates 53 total jobs, nearly $3,681,000 in business revenue and $380,0000 in state and local taxes.
Derek Jaeger, the Port’s director of business development, called the data “invaluable.”
“Whether it’s creating public awareness, funding requests for legislation, project justification, or assisting with allocation of resources, we decided to pursue an impact study to help describe Port impacts and directly tie them to strategic planning and decision-making,” Jaeger said. “It’s our goal to update the study every five years and incorporate it in our efforts.”
Martin Associates employees combined information gleaned from 69 interviews with Port tenants, consumer expenditure surveys, Port statistics, census data and internal projection models to create the study, according to Martin.
Jaeger called Martin Associates’ work “very accurate, defensible, and useful in describing Port activity,” adding that “the Port of Vancouver, Port of Portland, Port of Seattle-Tacoma, and many ports throughout the United States utilize Martin Associates because their methodology is very sound, defensible and insightful.”
The firm attempted to determine the “baseline economic impacts” of the Port’s industrial park, marina and airport and develop models to assess the effects of new real estate tenants and compare impacts of alternative tenancy uses of land parcels; the number of power boats vs. sail boats in the marina, as well as expendurites by boat owners, changes in occupancy rates and annual boat ramp usage; and the effects of new tenants and services at Grove Field.
“Our methodology is what really drives our approach, which drives the defensibility,” Martin said. “The key thing in doing these impact studies is to make sure they’re really bullet-proof, so that you can go out to the public and defend the numbers.”
“Martin Associates did an excellent job presenting the Port’s first ever economic impact study,” Jaeger said. “I wouldn’t say we were surprised by the findings since we understand Port activity creates great economic value for the local and regional economy, but the detail Martin Associates model is able to provide and the ability to materialize Port impacts with data definitely stirred excitement in how we may utilize this tool and share it with the community. This will be a very resourceful tool in describing the value our efforts bring.”