Citizen Journalism: Port of Bellingham Meeting Reports for July 10th

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

Report for Port of Bellingham Board Meeting, July 10, 2018

The public meeting opened at 3:30 pm and immediately recessed to a closed. Executive Session. The meeting reconvened at 4:30 pm. Board President Ken Bell, Vice President Bobby Briscoe, and Secretary Michael Bell were all present, with Briscoe attending by phone. Bell said no action was taken during the closed Executive Session.

During the 4:30 pm public comment period Pete Granger, President of the Working Waterfront Coalition, told board members about the death of Wally Green, a fisherman and friend of the Port.

A total of 16 items were on the Consent Agenda. Three of those – items M, N, and O – involved HVAC replacement projects, as well as exterior sealing and masonry repair projects for Port properties. Board President Ken Bell, recused himself from voting on these because he is a Port tenant. Those items passed 2-0 with Bell abstaining.

All other items on the consent agenda passed 3-0.  Approvals included lease modifications with Drayton Harbor Fishery and Verizon Wireless for premises in the Blaine Marine Industrial Area. A lease renewal and modification between the Port and Paws for a Beer, LLC for property on Harris Avenue was approved. A modification of license to operate between the Port and the Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center was approved, for operating and managing the Fairhaven Moorage Facilities.

Action items –

First action: authorize the Executive Director to enter a service contract with Ports America for a 5-year exclusive contract to use the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. Ports America is the largest terminal operator and stevedore in the U.S.  Shepard said the terminal has had 17 years without active shipments.  Bart Goedhard from Ports America told the board he looks forward to working with the Port.  Bell expressed concerns to the Executive Director that he’ll be working with a  strong union, and said he has concerns about using the terminal for bulk shipments.

Approved 3-0.

Second action: authorization to execute a personal services agreement with DH Environmental, Inc. for consulting services for the Port’s Environmental Compliance Assessment Program (ECAP) until Dec 31, 2018.  The ECAP helps the Port stay in compliance with stormwater regulations by performing site visits with all tenants who may have environmental risks. The Port’s Environmental Specialist said the consultant is needed to help with inspections, database completion, risk ranking, mapping updates and outreach.  Bell said he would like to see the program narrowed in scope so that the work could all be done in-house.

Approved 3-0.

Third action: authorization to enter into a insurance contract and payment for renewal of the Port’s Property and Crime Insurance coverage July 1, 2018 through July 1, 2019.  Staff informed the commissioner’s that the rate is going up 12 percent due to 2017 being a bad year for insurance companies around the U.S.  Board members requested staff research and determine if there is a better rate.  Editor missed the vote for this item.

Fourth action: authorization to enter into an agreement with event organizer Cheri Ann Trammel to use Zuanich Point Park for the “Rockin into the Blues Festival,” September 1st (Labor Day Weekend). The agreement will close the entire park for a private event.  Briscoe wanted only a partial closure of the park.  Shepard said the event was a great use for the park, and Bell said it would increase business for food trucks and restaurants, etc.

Approved 2-1, with Briscoe voting ‘no.’

Fifth action: approve the rescinding of 4 Port Resolutions that are outdated and conflict with new employee policies. One of these outdated resolutions – No. 477 – was passed in 1964.

Approved 3-0.

Sixth and Seventh action: authorization to execute a contract with IMCO Construction to perform cleanup of the Blaine Marina site, and to change a Professional Services agreement with Landau Associates to provide construction management support and reporting for the Blaine Marina cleanup project.  IMCO will remove storage tanks, demolish the building, remove petroleum-contaminated soil and set up a bio-remediation system for $1,001,703.11 plus a 15 percent contingency. Landau Associates will get $387,400 plus a 15 percent contingency. The cleanup project will run from July to late October. Bell recused himself from these votes because he is in the soil remediation business.

Approved 2-0 with Bell abstaining.

At the 5:30 pm Public Comment Period Eddy Ury, Clean Energy Program Manager with RE Sources, asked for more public engagement with the waterfront, saying much has changed since the project was started 5 years ago.  He wants to see higher standards for sustainable building design that include the latest innovations.  Shepard said he’ll take a lead to ensure of more dialog with the public.

Eighth action: authorization to execute a contract with Summit Construction for Phase 2 of the C Street Terminal Project. This phase will provide power and water service to the property and ensure compliance with stormwater regulations.  The Port received 3 bids for the project ranging from $508,520 to $758,423.  Board members were concerned by this wide spread. They voted 3-0 to table the action item, then voted 3-0 on a motion to reject all 3 bids and start over.

Ninth action: approve a renewal and modification of the Harbor Land Lease between the Port and Walsh Marine LLC, and increase the Capital Improvement Program budget for construction of a new building at the Walsh Marine Leasehold site in Blaine.  Walsh Marine requested to renew the 5-year lease and modify it to include a new larger building.  Shepard asked about getting Economic Development Initiative (EDI) funds for the building. Briscoe said the improvements are worth it whether EDI helps or not because it will boost economic development and create jobs.

Approved 3-0.

Meeting was adjourned at 6:17 pm.  The Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners next meeting is scheduled for August 21, 2018.

~ Submitted by a Citizen Journalist for Common Threads NW