For further information:
Interim Executive Director Jim Pivarnik
Phone: (360) 385-0656
For immediate release
Headline: Port of Port Townsend’s 2019 budget improves bottom line
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The Port of Port Townsend Commission has approved an operating budget for 2019 that combines
expense cuts and modest increases in expected revenue, as the Port takes steps toward financial
Substantial cuts in administrative expenses will save the Port over $220,000, according to the
budget. Revenue increases based on modest growth of lease and moorage rates, combined with a new
push to lease out all of the Port’s available space are expected to improve the Port’s net revenues
by 88 percent in comparison to the 2018 budget.
Interim Executive Director Jim Pivarnik presented the 2019 operating budget to the three- member
Port Commission and won their unanimous approval in late October.
To return the Port to financial stability, Pivarnik laid out six guiding goals for this budget
• Reduce expense and grow operating revenues to improve net revenues;
• Find tenants for all Port spaces;
• Maximize federal funding to rehabilitate the runway at Jefferson County International Airport;
• Standardize a leasing policy for Port tenants;
• Improve the stormwater system at the Boat Haven to sustain marine trades businesses and satisfy
state environmental rules; and
• Improve relationships with all community partners.
A realistic look at the Port’s financial picture, however, requires acknowledging that tough
choices are ahead, Pivarnik said.
“Our current revenue streams and tax receipts are inadequate to fund the long-term maintenance,
repair and replacement of the suite of facilities and equipment we presently operate,” he said.
Expectations must be aligned with realities, he said. Decisions ahead may include adjustments to
rates and fees, cutting overhead expenses and surplussing non- performing properties to maximize
the Port’s ability to pursue its primary mission — economic development.
Prominent in the 2019 operating budget are expense cuts to reduce the cost of Port administration.
The new budget also cuts legal fees, consultants and advertising by about
$30,000 in each area, and cuts over $52,000 on operations, in comparison to 2018. Savings from all
of those cuts could climb above $300,000, although Pivarnik included the conservative figure of
$220,000 in the budget.
Overall, the 2019 operating expense budget of $5,038,368 is 4.4 percent lower than the 2018 budget.
Revenues and income
Revenues in 2019 are budgeted to rise by 5.2 percent, or $319,849, to $6,194,924 in 2019. The
increase is based on expectations of additional revenues from marinas and the Point Hudson RV park
and leasing out all Port commercial spaces. The Port is also pursuing leases with marine trades and
other tenants which include a modest cost of living increase of only 3.3 percent.
By the end of 2019, according to the budget, the Port will see operating income of $1.156 million
before depreciation — an 88.2 percent increase over the 2018 budget.
The Port is tackling several capital projects through a capital budget now being drafted for
presentation to the Commission and the public, Pivarnik noted.
• Continued improvements in the stormwater management at the Boat Haven, which are mandated by the
Washington Department of Ecology to reduce pollutants and meet water quality standards
• Funding to address the failing jetty at Point Hudson;
• Reconstruction of the runway at Jefferson County International Airport, a $4.4 million project
that may take place in the early fall of 2019. The current runway, which was expected to last 20
years, is now 30 years old and the Port has federal funds in hand for almost all of the expenses.
There are many other capital needs, Pivarnik said, but fiscal responsibility demands that at this
time the Port focus only on its top priorities. He credited the Port’s maintenance staff with
sustaining the useful life of many Port facilities.
Funding these projects will require partnerships, innovation, careful planning and squeezing every
dime out of available funds, Pivarnik said.