REEDSPORT, Ore. — The years have taken a toll on one coastal community in Oregon, but many in Reedsport are hopeful they can bounce back after a population decline over the last couple of decades.
It all started back in 1999 when the International Paper Mill in Gardiner closed, taking with it nearly 1,000 jobs. People couldn’t find work and they left.
Since then Reedsport has struggled to re-invent itself.
Reedsport’s city manager says the area has some of the most pristine brownfield sites on the Oregon Coast, and those could be easily developed. Basically he says they’ll take any type of manufacturing they can get.
Some are hoping the controversial Jordon Cove project, still years away will help the coast thrive.
For now the city is banking on tourism.
You may recall just last weekend it held its claim to fame–the Chainsaw Festival. Many who live there are still hopeful the town can turn around.
“There are a lot of people that are coming back that are retired because it is a nice community,” said Diane Essig, Reedsport City Counselor.
“It’s the spirit of not curling up into a ball and saying woe is me,” said Keith Tymchuk, Reedsport Mayor.
Fred Walh Marine Construction is a bright spot in this economy. The shipyard employs 73 workers and builds massive ships that sail the waters off the West Coast and Alaska.
On KEZI 9 News at 6 p.m., hear from residents and officials as they look to carve out a new history.