Citizen Journalism: Port of Bellingham Meeting Report for Sept. 18, 2018

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

The public meeting was called to order at 3:30 pm and immediately recessed to a closed executive session so board members could discuss potential litigation. The meeting reconvened at 4:30 pm. Board President Ken Bell, Vice President Bobby Briscoe and Secretary Michael Bell were all present. No action was taken during the closed executive session.

Video of the full Sept. 18, 2018 Port Commission Meeting

Sept. 18, 2018 Port of Bellingham: full video

Public comment –

Jim Kyle, with the Working Waterfront Coalition thanked the commission for chipping in on the ‘7’ interpretive signs being installed at Squalicum Harbor. He also thanked them for their support for major projects in Blaine and for taking into consideration stakeholder needs on those projects.

Roger Van Dyken, owner of San Juan Sailing and a departing tenant of the Port, thanked the commission for 36 years of being a tenant of the Port of Bellingham. Board Pres., Ken Bell praised Van Dyken for being a good employer, tenant and spokesperson for the County and Port.

Twelve items were on the consent agenda. Approvals on a 3-0 vote were the following:
  • The minutes of the August 14, 2018 and September 4, 2018, regular and August 23, 2018, special Commission meetings.
  • For notification purposes, Small Works roster pursuant to Resolution No. 1358A – Clean, Seal, Re-Stripe Bellingham Cruise Terminal lots.
  • Authorization to change a Professional Services Agreement with RMC Architects to provide the design, permit and estimate support for the Walsh Marine Building project.
  • An 8th change to the Amended and Restated Capital Ground Lease between the Port of Bellingham and Cohanim Bellwether D LLC, 20 Bellwether Way.
  • Authorization to change the Terminal Services Agreement with the State of Alaska for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) exercising the 3rd of ‘5’ renewal options to extend ticketing and reservation services.
  • The Consent to Assignment of Commercial Lease from Zweber Enterprises Inc. (doing business as America’s Cup to America’s Cup Coffee Shop LLC).
  • The weekend hourly facility rental rate for the Bellingham Cruise Terminal Dome to be made available up to 90 days in advance.
  • Authorization to apply for, accept and manage a grant from Puget Sound Energy  (PSE) Business License Incentive Program for upgrades to the exterior lighting at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.
  • A change to the 2018 schedule of Commission meetings for Calendar year 2018, consolidating the business of the two December meetings into one meeting, December 11, 2018.
  • Authorization to execute a one-year extension of the Professional Services Agreement for the Flight Information Display System (FIDS) and Advertisement System with Terminal Systems International at the Bellingham International Airport (BLI).
  • Two new capital projects and a budget transfer to fund these projects at the Bellingham International Airport (BLI)
  • An increase to the authorized contract with Razz Construction for the District Energy Piping for Granary Avenue and Laurel Street project. Adam Fulton, Director of Facilities, said the project will cost more than estimated because they keep hitting obstructions as they dig underground at the former GP industrial site.
Presentations –

Port Parks and Events Update:
Tiffany DeSimone, the Port’s Meetings and Events Supervisor, said the Summer’s End Music and Arts Gathering at Zuanich Point Park on August 17 went well, and the Rockin’ to the Blues Festival scheduled for Sept. 1st was cancelled. AirFest on Sept. 8 at Bellingham International Airport was well attended and very successful. Commissioner Briscoe recommended hosting more music events on Port property.

Salmon Hatchery Best Management Practices Update:

Micheal Hogan, the Port’s Public Affairs Administrator, gave a report on their recent tour of the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery in Juneau, Alaska. It was reported that more than 6,000 jobs in Whatcom County are created or supported by marine trades. He talked about the declining numbers of Puget Sound salmon and the difference between Alaska’s hatchery system, which is a public-private partnership, whereas Washington’s (the largest hatchery system in the world) is state run. He described Macaulay’s facility and their funding model. The next step is to continue to evaluate salmon hatcheries throughout the Pacific Northwest related to financing, operation, management, research and community outreach. The tour is part of a feasibility study of a long-term Salmon Hatchery Pilot Project on Bellingham’s Downtown Waterfront. Commissioners were enthusiastic about this project.

Blaine Marine Industrial Area Update:

Brady Scott, the Port’s Real Estate Representative, updated commissioners on several projects at the Blaine Marine Industrial Area. The Blaine Marina Inc. Clean-up Project is ahead of schedule and could be complete by the end of September. He also talked about the demolition of the tent structure and construction of a new building at Walsh Marine, as well as the planned relocation of the web house and bulkhead repair work. The port needs to make the improvements before tenants can move forward with expansion plans. He said port staff recommend that the Commission approve the first action item.

Action Items –

First Item: Authorize the Executive Director to:

Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Port and Dakota Creek Shellfish for property in the Blaine Marine Industrial Area

Negotiate and enter into an MOU between the Port and following tenants:

  • Boundary Fish Co.
  • Drayton Harbor Fishery
  • Walsh Marine for property
    • ….in the Blaine Marine Industrial Area.

Staff said this MOU is intended to work cooperatively with port tenants who wish to expand their leaseholds, to identify parcels for the improvement project, and to determine the size, location, infrastructure needs, and the availability to lease. Mr. Burrell, in the audience said, it would satisfy his needs to get a permitting process started. Approved 3-0.

Second item: Discussion to approve:

Termination of Lease and Settlement Agreement between the Port and First American Title Insurance Co.

New Commercial Lease between the Port and The Non-GMO Project for Suite 301, Bellwether Building. Judy Harvey, the Port’s Senior Real Estate Representative, said in exchange for First American Title Insurance terminating it’s lease, the Port would start a new commercial lease with the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization based in Bellingham. The Non-GMO Project puts their labels on 43,000 different products produced without genetically modified organisms. Approved 3-0.

Other Business –

Commissioner Briscoe talked about replacing the old fire-boat house dock. The dock that was removed had a float and a ramp for easy access. Commissioners said it needs further discussion but they will put some money in the budget for a new dock and get permitting started.

Meeting was adjourned at 6:05 pm.

– Submitted by a Citizen Journalist for Common Threads NW