Citizen Journalism: Port of Bellingham Meeting – Jan. 8, 2019

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Building a rural broadband network and the effects of the next state budget were the main points of interest at the Port of Bellingham Commission regular meeting on Jan. 8, 2019.

The public meeting was called to order at 2:00 pm and immediately recessed to a closed executive session so board members could discuss potential litigation and potential real estate transactions. The meeting reconvened at 4:30 pm. Board President Ken Bell, Vice President Bobby Briscoe and Secretary Michael Bell were all present. No formal action was taken during the closed executive session.


Public Comments –

During the public comment period, local fisherman Keith Johnson said it’s unethical for the Port to make him give up his web locker. The Port recently decided to boot out web locker tenants that have not provided proof of ACF license for 2 years.

Fifteen items were on the consent agenda. Approvals on a 3-0 vote were the following:

A.
Approve the minutes of the November
20, 2018
, and December
11, 2018
regular Commission meeting minutes.

B. Approve
Resolution No. 1106-U
, delegating certain administrative powers and duties
to the Executive Director.

C.
Authorize the Executive Director to execute Amendment No. 4 to the Personal
Services Agreement with David
Brown, Spinner LLC
for video recording services for 2019.

D.
Authorize the Executive Director to extend the existing contract with 5 Star
Services to provide janitorial
services 2019-2020
.

E.
Notification purposes only, per Resolution
No. 1358A
Small Works Roster: Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park (FMIP) Bldg.
6 Fire Exit and Fairhaven Station Interior Painting.

F.
Authorize the Port’s legal counsel to enter into contracts with Anchor QEA, LLC
and other consultants for technical
expertise
in support of legal work related to the Port’s Environmental
Division.

G.
Authorize the Executive Director to execute Amendment
No. 2
to the Professional Services Agreement with EA Engineering, Science
and Technology Inc. for Waterfront District EIS.

H.
Authorize the Executive Director to execute Amendment
No. 3
to the Professional Services Agreement with RMC Architects for design
& permitting assistance for the Blaine Webhouse No. 1 project.

I.
Authorize the Executive Director to execute a Purchase Order with ATS
Automation, Inc.
for the Bellwether Building HVAC system equipment and
software programming support.

J.
Authorize the Executive Director to execute Amendment
No. 2
to the Professional Services Agreement with BergerABAM, Inc. to provide design &
permitting services for the Blaine Harbor Marine Industrial Peninsula Bulkheads
Repairs project.

K.
Approve a Settlement and Release of all Claims Agreement between the Port of Bellingham and Ginkgo
Trading, LLC
.

L. Approve
Esplanade Dock License(s)
for NW
Explorations LLC
and Pacific
Northwest Cruises LLC for upland area(s) located in Squalicum Harbor
.

M.
Approve a Renewal
of Lease
between the Port
of Bellingham and Pacific
Marine Electric, LLC for premises located at 1801 Roeder Avenue, Bellingham
Washington.

N.
Approve the Consent
to Assignment of Lease
from The Puget Hound LLC to Rover Stay Over, Inc.
for BLI Binding Site Plan #3A, located within the Airport Industrial Park.

O.
Approve a Renewal and Modification
of Lease
between the Port
of Bellingham and
Northwest Marine Industries, LLC for premises located at 809 Harris Avenue, Bellingham
Washington.

Brady
Scott, real estate representative for the Port, gave a short progress report on
item M.


Presentations –

2019 Legislative
Update

Ben Buchholz from McBride Public Affairs LLC told
commissioners that the recent increase of Democrats in the state legislature
could mean that bills will get approved faster. We will see a lot of investment
in low income housing and the housing trust fund, which will be good for the
city and Port of Bellingham. The legislative session
starts Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.
Discussion of orca whale recovery may dominate debate.

The Governor’s proposed budget includes 22% more spending
than the last budget. Increases in the capital gains tax, B&O tax and real
estate excise tax will help pay for the increased spending. Commissioner Ken
Bell said a capital gains tax increase would hurt investment at the Port most. He
said getting funding for a feasibility study for a hatchery for salmon
enhancement is a top priority.


Action Items –

1. Authorize the Executive Director to execute an Interlocal
Agreement
between the Port
of Bellingham and the Port of Skagit pertaining to the development of
a rural broadband network.

Gina Stark, Economic Development Project Manager, said the
Port has received a $50,000 grant to help pay for a rural broadband feasibility
study. The Port of Skagit used a similar grant to study and build a fiber
broadband network, and would work collaboratively with the Port of Bellingham
to build a rural broadband network here. Commissioner Bell said he completely
endorses this effort. Passed 3-0.

2. Authorize the Executive Director to execute a Personal
Services Consultant Agreement with Ascent
GIS
to conduct a rural broadband feasibility study.

Gina Stark said Ascent GIS
is very familiar with this area and did the study under a tight timeline for Skagit, and he’s willing to continue to work with the
Port during the construction phase. Passed 3-0.

3. Approve Implementation Agreement No. 2 of the Intergovernmental
Framework
Agreement between the Lummi Nation and the Port of Bellingham.

This item was pulled from the agenda because commissioners
said neither side is ready to approve an agreement. The decision will be pushed
off until early February.


Other Business –

Lastly the Port Commission
discussed its recent decision to kick out web locker tenants that have not
provided proof of ACF license for
2 years, and how it has affected local fishers like Keith Johnson.

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