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Railex ships a million bottles of wine...and lots of other stuff

    Talk to Railex officials about surprises and they’ll want to tell you about wine – like lots of other Walla Walla Valley residents.
    The transcontinental shipping system, with its Northwest terminal near Wallula, has moved more than a million bottles of wine since it began handling the precious cargo some two years ago.
    Railex Washington Manager Jim Kleist says the milestone – the one millionth bottle – was actually reached in June, 2008. Since then, the number has continued to climb.
    Kleist said that wine shipments, along with other commodities including thousands of pounds of potatoes, onions and apples, have continued to contribute to “strong, solid growth” for the train.
    Excitement over Railex’s non-stop Wallula to Rotterdam, N.Y., continues Kleist says. “We’re meeting and surpassing our commitment to fill a 55-car train each week and everything is running smoothly,” he added.
    “The wine shipments fi t well with the Railex model,” Kleist continued. “Handling the product has been everything we’ve hoped for...from Northwest wineries to East Coast distributors.
    Railex successes led the company to build a new shipping terminal similar to Walla Walla County in Delano, California. First produce shipments from there to New York began in October, 2008.
    Kleist says as many as 80 people are employed in full-time and part-time positions at the Wallula terminal.

Railex Warehouse Manager Tory Brown
PHOTO: Railex Warehouse Manager Tory Brown with wine in the Wallula terminal’s temperature controlled holding area.

Key Technology
Photo by Donna Lasater
New Burbank water system serves business park & schools     The Port of Walla Walla’s new $3.6 million Burbank water system is completed and on-line, serving the Port’s Burbank Business Park tenants and Columbia School District elementary, middle and high schools.
    The budget included a $1.6 million appropriation from Washington State and a $721,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The balance was provided by the Port of Walla Walla.
    Washington State legislators - Senator Mike Hewitt and Representatives Maureen Walsh and Bill Grant – and U.S. Senator Patty Murray were key in getting state and federal funding.


Jackie Hardesty,
long-time Port auditor/
treasurer retires

    Port of Walla Walla Commissioners and staff in August, 2008 congratulated Jackie Hardesty on her retirement.
    Hardesty had been the Port’s auditor/treasurer for 20 years.
    During that period, the Port and Airport enjoyed signifi cant growth and required increasingly complex accounting systems.
    “Thanks to Jackie’s hard work, the Port successfully passed its state audit each year,” emphasized Jim Kuntz, Port executive director.
    Kuntz also welcomed Anna Christen as the Port’s new auditor/treasurer. Christen was an accounting specialist handling fixed assets for Banner Bank prior to joining the Port.
Port helps BMAC
Food Bank with
Proctor & Gamble gift

    Port of WW Commission President Dr. Fred Bennett recently announced a $5,000 grant by Proctor & Gamble Company to Walla Walla’s Blue Mountain Action Council Food Bank.
    Bennett explained that P & G made the donation on behalf of the Port because of its “professionalism and commitment in responding to dozens of information requests” during a time when the company was considering Walla Walla County as the site for a new manufacturing plant, which later was located in Utah.
    In announcing the grant, P & G officials praised the Port of Walla Walla as “an effective economic development organization.”
Web camera installed at WW Regional Airport
    Keeping an eye on what its like at the Walla Walla Regional Airport is an easier task thanks to a recently installed Web camera on the roof of the airport terminal building.
    Always in operation, the camera provides a real-time snapshot of four viewpoints with pictures that are updated every 15 minutes.
    The installation was funded with a $5,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division, with a $250 contribution from the WW Airport.
    To access the Web camera visit
www.wallawallaairport.com and www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation.
Recycle station now a
feature at WW Airport

Airport Recycle station    Easily accessible recycling bins are now in place in the Airport terminal building.
    With some 60,000 passengers passing through the airport terminal each year, Port officials say there’s a great opportunity to recycle cans, paper and plastic.
    Horizon Air will also use the bins for recyclable materials from Walla Walla flights.
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