At their July 25 Work Session, Port of St. Helens Commissioners voted 4-0 to change the name of the port to the “Port of Columbia County.” The vote finalizes a public process that began back in April, and has included many Commission discussions, as well as extensive public input, an online survey and two community focus groups.
“We made this decision from the perspective of our citizens in the other communities that wanted to be included,” said Port Commissioner Mike Avent. “We heard their concerns and see this as a way to make the port more inclusive of all the communities the port represents.”
The Port of Columbia County is more descriptive of the geographical region of the port district, which spans the entire 51-miles of Columbia River frontage of Columbia County, and includes the cities of Scappoose, St. Helens, Columbia City, Prescott, Rainier, Clatskanie and portions of unincorporated Columbia County.
“The new name will better reflect who we are and what we do,” said Commissioner Robert Keyser.
The name change is just the first step of the port’s marketing initiative, which also includes a new logo design and website. The new name won’t formally take effect until a date to be determined shortly.
“We want to wait to officially change the name until we have the new logo, website and other marketing pieces in place, and then release it as part of our larger rebranding campaign,” said Gina Sisco, Public Relations for the port. “A name change is a big undertaking, and we want to do this right.”
While there were some concerns about the cost of the change, “the majority of those costs were going to take place regardless,” said Executive Director Doug Hayes. “The bulk of the cost is wrapped up in the signage at our properties, which are faded and need to be replaced anyway. If we are ever going to do it, this is the right time from a financial perspective.”