**Click here for revised Jan 25 meeting agenda**
**Click here for added agenda item**
Port of Port Townsend
1st Monthly Meeting Agenda (click on this link for meeting packet)
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
Port Commission Building
333 Benedict Street, Port Townsend, WA
I. Call to Order / Pledge of Allegiance
II. Approval of Agenda
III. Consent Agenda
A. Approval of Public Workshop Minutes – January 11, 2017
Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes – January 11, 2017
B. Approval of Warrants
IV. Public Comments (not related to Agenda)
V. Second Reading
A. Resolution No. 655-17, Delegation of Authority
VI. First Reading
A. Proposed Rate Schedule for Marina, RV & Ramp Rates
VII. Regular Business
A. Resolution No. 657-17, Jefferson County Hazard Mitigation
B. December 2016 Preliminary YTD Financial Results
XIII. Staff Comments
IX. Public Comments
X. Commissioner Comments
XI. Next Public Workshop / Regular Meeting:
Wednesday, February 8, 2017. Workshop at 9:30 a.m., Meeting at 1:00 p.m. in the Port Commission Building, 333 Benedict Street, Port Townsend, WA
XII. Executive Session (if called)
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Hello, Please reschedule the agenda item related to marine, RV and ramp rates until the time you can provide affected tenants and citizens with the documents being reviewed, the analysis of rates, and the adopted budget and capital facilities plan for 2017. You should also provide adequate notification for review of this information to every tenant. None of this information is available online. This is essential to maintain transparency and a fair process for making decisions.
January 25, 2017
Port of Port Townsend Commissioners
P.O. Box 1180
Port Townsend, WA 98368
RE: Proposed Moorage Rates for 2017
I would like to submit comments regarding the proposed moorage rates for 2017 that you are reviewing on your agenda this evening.
I agree, the Port faces serious financial challenges and poorly maintained facilities.
I agree, the solution is to use the Strategic Plan as a road map to address these serious issues. But, overall strategic direction needs to be used, not just selective elements of the plan! The Port’s Strategic Plan outlines a number of issues not described in your staff memo to the commission, including responsiveness to community needs, transparency with financial processes and port decision making.
I believe the proposed rates are short sighted. Port Commissioners need to make decisions with the long-term view for the Port of Port Townsend. These large infrastructure needs will not be fixed quickly, and positive community relations and public support will be crucial to the Port’s long-term success.
1 – Meet your obligations for a transparent rate setting process. Involve tenants and stakeholders in analysis and decisions as per Strategic Plan. We are concerned with the lack of customer feedback and limited public notification on this proposal and the budget, capital facilities and rate proposals presented last year. This was an inadequate public process for evaluating and proposing rates. No notice to tenants, no time to discuss and evaluate, no sharing information about staff analysis with stakeholders.
2 – Cut expenses first! Find ways to scale down capital project costs and operating costs, and spread the costs for Boat Haven and Point Hudson countywide. The two largest capital facility projects should be evaluated again for cost reductions or for a shorter term and lower costs approach if financing is challenging. The Industrial Development District levy you are considering should be applied to both the Boat Haven and the Point Hudson improvements, especially since Boat Haven serves an economically important industrial area that needs significant improvements. Community investments (through levies, bonds) should be reserved for assets that benefit the greater community – through job creation.
3 – Smooth out rate increases over time. Evaluate market and affordability to Jefferson County as per Strategic Plan. 10-16% moorage rate increases are proposed based on a market analysis heavily weighted towards King County. A rate increase that is this high in one year is not fair or affordable. Did you survey existing tenants or people on the waiting list about affordability? Commissioners should look at smoothing out rate increases over a number of years as an alternative, and conducting a rate comparison with local area marinas. In your adopted strategic plan, Strategic Objective 1-2 states,” The Port of Port Townsend exists to serve the Jefferson County community and its visitors. We recognize our responsibility to provide Port facilities that are physically accessible and affordable to the community.” Within this objective, strategic direction: Maintain moorage fees at rates that seek to sustain the community’s boating culture. No discussion of this strategic objective and how it was considered were in the rate staff report.
In the Spring of 2014 Paul Sorenson with BST Associates presented a seminar titled The Future of Marinas to the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA). Some of you might have seen that presentation. In it he concluded that due to the changing demographics of recreational boating, marinas will face continued declines in use in future years. His analysis shows that marinas will have a limited ability to influence demand and adjust rates, and they will need to develop incentives to maintain occupancy. He also suggested that Ports look at ways to reduce construction costs by considering less expensive designs, and evaluate Operation& Maintenance costs compared to peer marinas in order to reduce costs.
I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in this discussion and decision making process. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding our comments.