——————–March 24, 2022——————–
The Boat Yard and Ship Yard are full to the fences
Any drive past the upland area of the Boat Haven in Port Townsend proves it: The Boat Yard and Ship Yard are packed with boats. While that’s good news for the marine trades who work there, Port Executive Director Eron Berg told the Port Commission on March 23 that it also demonstrates a problem. There are dozens of boats which want to be hauled out for repairs and maintenance, but no room. “We have 50 boats on a wait list to get hauled,” he said. “The Ship Yard is completely full. We are turning away fish boats right now.” The same situation exists at Point Hudson, where an upland boat yard is operated by SEA Marine. The Port has proposed expanding its upland area along Sims Way, and also to the west toward PT Paper. Both ideas are subject to public process and will take time. Among the causes are the closure of other haul-out options around Puget Sound in recent years.
Design contract for rebuild of Gardiner Boat Ramp awarded
The proposed rebuild of the Port-owned boat ramp at Gardiner is moving ahead. Commissioners have approved a $116,000 contract with Reid Middleton for design work and bid documents preparation. The current ramp, a single lane of deteriorating concrete, would be replaced with a new ramp that includes a seasonal floating pier. The Port was awarded a state grant of almost $540,000 for the project – and will add almost $135,000 for its required 20 percent match. Commissioners reported that Gardiner residents seek community involvement in the design process.
Port reports strong financials
The financial health of the Port continues, Director of Finance and Administration Abigail Berg reported at the March 23 Port Commission meeting. The cash balance is up almost $2 million above its level for the same period last year, with most of the increase due to collections from the Industrial Development District levy approved by voters. Operating revenues are up 13 percent compared to 2021 year-to-date, and up 23 percent over budget, said Berg. Meanwhile, operating expenses have risen 8 percent over 2021 but are 2 percent under budget for the period.
Port may soon see a new Port logo featuring “Alcyone”
A new logo for the Port of Port Townsend is being developed toward eventual presentation to the entire Port Commission. While there are still several options, all feature the longtime and legendary sailing vessel “Alcyone” in the foreground with a local landscape or cityscape in the background. Port Commissioner Carol Hasse and Executive Director Eron Berg are guiding the development of prospective logos, which are being done by Marian Roh of RohGraphics, a local resident and former sailor. Once adopted, the logo will, over time, replace current logos on signage, letterhead, marketing, business cards and other Port materials.
Possible dates for Port Commission retreat are discussed
May 18 and 19 have been proposed as dates for the annual retreat of the Port of Port Townsend Commission. Executive Director Eron Berg said those dates seem to work for the three elected Port commissioners. While details are pending, it’s likely the Commission would meet both days from about 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the newly renovated Pavilion building at Point Hudson.
Port’s legislative agenda did well in 2022
While the headline item for the Port of Port Townsend in the recently concluded Washington State Legislature was an additional $1.5 million for the rebuild of Point Hudson jetties, there were other successes as well. At the March 23 meeting, Commissioners heard from the Port’s lobby team, Insight Strategic Partners, that state funds for derelict vessel removal, often used by the Port to demolish abandoned vessels, were given a 25 percent increase to a total of $7.5 million. Also, the Legislature added $2 billion in the Transportation budget that should boost service of Washington State Ferries, including the Port Townsend connection.