Layoffs Loom After Indefinite Suspension at Port of Lewiston

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The other shoe has dropped at the Port of Lewiston, which learned earlier this week that its largest container shipper would no longer transport cargo on the Columbia River. This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that employees at the Port of Lewiston will be losing their jobs.

The Port of Lewiston employs seven people, but its budget is $1.9 million. The port had expected about $450,000 each from rentals and property taxes as well as $260,000 from the Inland 465 company, which operates a huge warehouse at the port.

At a grim Wednesday meeting of Port of Lewiston commissioners, just two days  after Hapag-Lloyd announced it was pulling up anchor at the Port of Oregon and thus stranding huge containers of Idaho agricultural products with nowhere to go, commissioners confirmed that they were suspending container operations at the Lewiston port indefinitely.

Commissioners said they've already brought the issue to the attention of Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter and Idaho Department of Agriculture Director Celia Gould.