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Port holds off signing agreement to join Sunnyside cooperative

The Port of Sunnyside decided last night to wait before entering into an agreement to become a member of the Sunnyside Community Development Cooperative with the Sunnyside School District, the City of Sunnyside and Sunnyside Community Hospital.

The cooperative is part of an initiative to coordinate anti-gang activities in the city between the main entities of the city.

The port's delay is due to questions the port's legal counsel has regarding the fiscal responsibility of the port in the initiative. The port cannot use any of its funding for the activities of the cooperative, but the agreement seems to indicate a possible financial duty on the part of all four members.

Port Executive Director Amber Hansen asked if it would be possible for the port to be an ex officio member of the committee because it can only invest time and not money into the effort.

"We need to be involved in it," said Port Commissioner Jeff Matson. "It's worth our time."

He noted that any effort to improve the community would be good for business, which is the port's mission. Matson also said the port's involvement would be limited to having a commissioner and the port executive director serve as members of the executive committee of the cooperative.

The commissioners decided to wait until the question of fiscal responsibility is resolved before signing the agreement.

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