Columbia County economy topic of talk

The state's regional economist will discuss changes over the past few years.

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DAYTON -- The state of the economy in Columbia County is the topic of a presentation by state regional economist Arum Kone Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Liberty Theater.

The event is sponsored by the Port of Columbia. Port commissioners discovered during workshops to update the Port's comprehensive plan that the economic information used as the basis for the Port's plan was last updated in 2005, and the information has changed dramatically in the past five or six years.

"In a nutshell, the asparagus canning industry is gone and the wind industry is here," said Port manager Jennie Dickinson. She suggested to commissioners that updating the plan without a better picture of the current economy might lead to less comprehensive planning.

The Port is compiling a list of Columbia County's largest employers that will be shared at the presentation. Also included in the presentation will be information on economic sectors, employment and commuting patters, population changes, and retail spending patterns.

"There have been so many changes in the basic structure of our economy, and truly understanding those changes goes beyond looking up statistics online," Dickinson said.

"Arum should be able to help us understand this economic shift in a way that may provide valuable information to governments, businesses and residents," she state in a press release.

Dickinson can be reached at 382-2577.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at cec@innw.net or 522-5289.

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