——————–March 2, 2022——————–
This is not a drill: Port’s new response crew leaps into action
Terry Khile is known as the “go-to” guy for Port emergencies, and he got an earful of thanks at his retirement party on Friday, Feb. 25. But then on Saturday, Feb. 26 a sailboat sank near the breakwaters at Point Hudson. On Sunday, Feb. 27 another sailboard sank near the fuel dock in the Boat Haven Marina. Then on Tuesday, March 1, there was a minor spill of diesel fuel in the Point Hudson Marina. Not only Khile but longtime Environmental Specialist Terry Taylor was also gone. The newly appointed or promoted Port staff jumped into action in all three accidents. Environmental Specialist Kimberlie Webber, Harbormaster Kristian Ferrero and Operations Manager Chris Sparks were all on hand for various parts of the emergencies, as were several other Port staff. “The new leadership was promptly tested,” said Executive Director Eron Berg, who was also on hand to contain the fuel spill. “They did great.”
Plans laid for Point Hudson jetty work, possible marina closure this fall
It’s not a sure thing. But it’s possible the permits and funding for the first phase of replacing the jetties at the Point Hudson Marina will come together to launch the project this fall. A decision is expected in late March. Port Capital Projects Manager Matt Klontz told senior staffers March 1 that we are working full speed to make the two-phase project launch this year. All of the work would be done between October and February over a two-year period. During the work, all boats at Point Hudson will relocate because the marina will have minimal protection against winter storms. Port Executive Director Eron Berg said he’s confident all permanent Point Hudson moorage customers will find space at the Boat Haven Marina, in the Boat Yard or possibly on land near Point Hudson. “Our intent is to leave no one behind,” he said. The Port has completed a key federal environmental process and is now negotiating a funding agreement with EDA. More funding may come from the Washington State Legislature.
Marine trades liveaboards may get Boat Haven slip priority over “wait list”
The difficulty in finding housing in the Port Townsend area for employees has affected every industry, including the marine trades at the Port of Port Townsend. That concern, along with a desire to accommodate Point Hudson tenants during construction, has Port staff ready to present to the Port Commission some options. One is to freeze the “wait list” for moorage slips during the Point Hudson project and to also allow some marine trades workers with liveaboard vessels shift up the list with temporary moorage. “It’s something we can do to address the housing shortage for our marine trades,” said Berg. If approved by the Port Commission, it would also mean the Port would waive the annual wait list renewal fee until the Point Hudson project is complete.
Uses of Point Hudson’s “Back 40” to come before Port Commission
Despite its popular name, the landward storage space at Point Hudson is about 2.5 acres, not 40. But it’s valuable real estate and several Port tenants seek leases on portions of it. That’s why Port Executive Director Eron Berg plans to raise the use of that land with the Port Commission at its workshop meeting on Wednesday, March 9. Tenants interested in leases include Sea Marine, Puget Sound Express, the Northwest Maritime Center and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, he said. Port staff is working on a layout of the land that could accommodate them as well as other tenants and the Wooden Boat Festival and which would be subject to later leases.
Mask requirements may end at Port of PT
The Port expects to fall in line behind the removal of the indoor mask mandate on or about March 11. State leaders, together with local health officers, have said they expect the end of the mask mandate due to falling COVID infection rates. The end of the mandate would mean that the Point Hudson Moorage office can be reopened to the public. The Boat Haven Moorage office will continue to greet customers outside because space inside that office is tight. Port Executive Director Eron Berg expects the Port Commission to discuss returning to in-person meetings soon.