NORTH BEND, Ore. — The Coquille Indian Tribe is receiving over $7.7 million in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is believed to be the largest grant award the Tribe has ever won, the Tribe said in a media release.
“This news is nothing short of amazing! It is a great day for the Coquille Tribe, its people, our community, and our future,” said Coquille Tribal Chair Brenda Meade. “Our thanks to our hard-working staff and representatives for securing this funding that we believe will bring strong economic benefits to this area for generations to come.”
The total amount of $7,729,650 will go to fund three components of the Ko-Kwel Wharf near the Mill Casino Hotel & Rv Park property in North Bend.
Ko’Kwel Wharf will see substantial dock improvements, new power sources for visiting vessels and preliminary plans for a dock extension through a $7.7 million grant to the Coquille Indian Tribe from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Funds for the project come from the $662 million 2023 Port Infrastructure Development Program managed by the federal Maritime Administration. As a co-applicant, Tribal One (the Mith-ih-kwuh Economic Development Corporation) will manage the project on behalf of the Tribe.
“For the past several years, Tribal One has been working to prepare Ko’Kwel Wharf for its next life as a commercial and industrial center that focuses on its maritime resources,” said Tribal One CEO Judy Farm. “This funding will upgrade our terminal resources so that bulk carriers and other large vessels can dock safely and securely at Ko’Kwel Wharf.”
Dock repairs on the northern section will begin immediately to allow for industrial use in 2024. This section had been repaired in 2014 and 2017. The second phase of the work will see substantial repairs made to the dock on the remaining portion of the wharf where there has been little or no repair work over the past 40 years.
Other elements of the grant project will bring 800-amp electrical service to an outlet that will allow ships to turn off their diesel engines and operate on shore power while in port. A third element will complete the development phase of a proposed 600-700-foot extension to the dock.
Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Val Hoyle (OR-04), announced on Nov. 1, 2023, the awarding of those grant funds, which were included in a total of $36,489,508 in federal investments heading to the ports of Astoria, the Tribe’s Ko’Kwel Wharf, and Newport.
Chair Meade said the Tribe is proud to take part in the nationwide effort to rebuild our port infrastructure. “With this funding, our Tribal One team will continue their work to rebuild Ko’Kwel Wharf as a productive and reliable economic resource that will help secure the future of the Coquille Tribe and our North Bend community and become a valuable member of the nation’s maritime industry.”