Thanks to the 24th District legislative delegation, the Port of Port Townsend will receive crucial state support for key parts of its infrastructure.
Contained in the Legislature’s recently approved budget was $1 million for the rebuild of the jetties that protect the Point Hudson Marina, and over $2 million for improvements in the stormwater system that captures pollutants from the Boat Haven’s work yards.
There were other allotments to the Port from the Legislature as well, including almost $540,000 toward improvements to the Port-owned public boat launch near Gardiner, the only public ramp that serves Discovery Bay.
“The Port is extremely grateful to State Rep. Steve Tharinger, State Rep. Mike Chapman and Sen. Kevin Van De Wege for their tenacity and support of Port priorities and projects,” said Port Executive Director Eron Berg. “We are in a fundamentally stronger position because of them.”
The total replacement cost of jetties that protect Point Hudson is estimated at $15 million, said Berg. About half that money is expected to come from outside sources, and the $1 million is an important milestone for the rebuild, said Berg.
“It will help make this project a reality,” he said. Deterioration of the old breakwaters can allow winter storms to blow through the historic marina.
The Boat Haven stormwater system, closely monitored by the Department of Ecology, is essential to allowing the marine trades, which employ 400 in Jefferson County, to continue their work on boats. The $2.05 million allocated by the Legislature “will be used to upgrade the boatyard stormwater system to better clean water and meet the requirements of the Port’s discharge permit,” said Berg.
The system captures and filters out pollutants before they enter Port Townsend Bay.
The rebuild of the Gardiner Boat Ramp is a $674,857 project, most of which will be paid for by the state allocation from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) budget.
The members of the 24th Legislative District are in particularly influential positions in Olympia.
Sen. Van De Wege (D-Sequim) chairs the Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee and sits on the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Tharinger (D-Sequim) chairs the House Capital Budget Committee and serves on the House Appropriations Committee.
Rep. Chapman (D-Port Angeles) chairs the House Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and serves on the House Appropriations Committee.
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Port of Port Townsend Executive Director Eron Berg