Citizen Journalism: Port of Bellingham May 1, 2018

In Common Voices, Information Sources, Local Government, News by commonnw

The meeting was called to order by President Ken Bell at 4:30 pm.  Vice President Bobby Briscoe and Secretary Michael Shepard were in attendance.

No comments were made during the public comment period.

Minutes for the April 17th meeting were approved.

Seven consent items were approved without comment.  They included:

  • The consent to assignment of fueling premises and assets including existing leases at the fuel farm, GA ramp and General Aviation Terminal, an amendment to the Professional Services Agreement with Associated Project Consultants for multiple fire suppression and water main projects.
  • An amendment to the Professional Services Agreement with Puttman Infrastructure for final design, submittal review and construction support services for the District Utilities ECO project.
  • Execution of documents in connection with Cohamin Bellwether, LLC and Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc for Building A at 21 Bellwether.

Also approved were:

  • An assignment of lease from Nourish IP, LLC to Ideal Wellness BH, LLC, at 8 Bellwether
  • Amendment 1 to the Professional Services Agreement with EA Engineering, Science and Technology, Inc. for the final EIS Addendum for the 2018 Waterfront District SUB Area Plan
  • Release and Settlement Agreement between the Port and Safeco Insurance.

Presentations included a legislative update by Tom McBride and Ben Buckholz for the recently completed State Legislature.  The 60-day session was controlled by a thin margin of Democrats and most actions where taken in the last three days.  It was also noted that a number of retirements were announced immediately following the session.  Big items for the whole legislature were education spending, the Hirst fix, and no Carbon or Capital Gains / Income tax proposals were passed.

Items of interest to the Port included:

  • Funding for Broadband and Updated fishing fleet legislation, failed to pass
  • Oil transportation legislation, was passed
  • The Governor vetoed an airport infrastructure bill
  • Funding was provided for tourism promotion, the Public Works Trust Fund, and publicly owned waste treatment.

Next was a presentation on the installation of interpretive signage around Squalicum Harbor.  Eight signs featuring local geography, distant fisheries, local fisheries, commercial fisheries gear types, what the Port of Bellingham does, and local tribal heritage.  Commissioner Briscoe suggested also adding Oyster farming.

The meetings and events staff handles 545 events per year – over 100,000 people per year.  They are getting requests for ticketed events such as concerts, which they normally do not do.  Ticketed events will be discussed at a future meeting.

Two action items approved by 3-0 votes.  The first one was presented by Neil Clement for a two year Security Services contract with Pacific Security.  Commissioner Briscoe questioned the difference in cost and level of services provided.  Pacific Security is a local company and therefore overhead is lower.  Cost was $480,983.

The second action item was the termination of lease with Lummi Fisheries Supply, Inc. and a new lease with Bellingham Glove, Inc., for premises located at Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park.   LFS was Port tenant for 50 years.  Leased 104,000 feet in 2017 and negotiated sale of glove business to Bellingham Glove.

During the 5:30 Public Comment Period, Deb Granger expressed gratitude for the sign project which is made possible as recognition for Dave Hanson who was a reef netter.

The Commissioners scheduled a one hour work session before the May 15th meeting starting at 3 pm.

Meeting was adjourned at 6:20 pm

~ submitted by Citizen Journalist for Common Threads NW