27 Jan Commission Meeting Minutes 1-11-21
PORT COMMISSION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
January 11, 2021
Angela Harris, President
David Preston, Vice President
Steve Johnston, Secretary
Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Brandon Baker, Marina Manager
Tina Drennan, Finance Manager
Brittany Williams, Manager of Properties and Marketing
Bradford Cattle, Port Attorney
CALL TO ORDER
President Harris called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
All those in attendance participated in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
COMMISSIONER FAIRES MOVED THAT THE CONSENT AGENDA BE APPROVED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
B. APPROVAL OF DECEMBER 28, 2020 MEETING MINUTES
C. APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $194,640.69
D. APPROVAL OF WAIVER OF NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING
COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Dean Nichols, Tenant and Taxpayer, commended the Commission and staff for making progress towards improving public access at the marina. He recalled that some reservation was expressed about encroaching into the parking lot to make the walkway more convenient. As a tenant, he said he fully supports giving up a few parking places to make the public walkway more attractive and functional. He can’t imagine that other reasonable tenants would be opposed, either. There appears to be adequate parking. He likes the idea of keeping the width of the public promenade consistent and as wide as possible, and he supports the idea of changing the gates so they do not encroach into the walkway. However, he is concerned that the timeline for completing the project is too slow. He asked what he could expect to see at this time next year in terms of public access improvements.
Mr. McChesney commented that there is more to the project than what was initially anticipated, as it has since been determined that it would not be practical to incrementally make improvements to the existing boardwalk without also addressing the deficiencies in the understructure and rebuilding the seawall. The project and a proposed timeline will be discussed later in the meeting. At this time next year, he anticipates that the trash and recycle enclosures will have been relocated and there will be some additional landscaping detail. While they are anticipating a wholesale overhaul and reconstruction of the wooden boardwalk, the understructure work and seawall replacement must be done at the same time. He explained that the project will require a federal permit, which falls under the rubric of the Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application (JARPA), which is unpredictable for its complexity.
There were no other written or oral public comments.
2021 COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
Mr. McChesney referred the Commissioners to the spreadsheet outlining last year’s committee assignments and the proposed new assignments for 2021. He noted that the Commissioners reviewed the proposed new assignments at a previous meeting, as well.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE THE 2021 COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS AS PRESENTED IN THE STAFF REPORT. COMMISSIONER FAIRES SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Commissioner Faires requested that copies of the approved 2021 Committee Assignments be provided to each of the Commissioners.
RESOLUTION NUMBER 21-01 – RECONFIRMING SCHEDULE AND LOCATION OF PORT COMMISSION MEETINGS
Mr. McChesney advised that, each year, the Commission approves a resolution to confirm the schedule and location of Commission meetings. Once approved, the schedule will be subject to change at the discretion of the Commission as circumstances may warrant.
COMMISSIONER ORVIS MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE RESOLUTION NUMBER 21-01, RECONFIRMING THE SCHEDULE AND LOCATION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS COMMISSION MEETINGS FOR 2021 AS PRESENTED IN THE STAFF REPORT. COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
NORTH PORTWALK AND SEAWALL RECONSTRUCTION
Mr. McChesney reviewed that a consultant team was put together with the intent of providing better job control over the schedule and work product. It will also allow the Port to avoid paying a 15% markup on all of the subconsultants. He reviewed the role of each member of the consultant team as follows:
Commissioner Faires asked if the costs provided from the various consultants are estimates or firm quotes. Mr. McChesney answered that they are firm quotes to the extent that the scope of work doesn’t change. With complicated permitting processes, the requirements can change and there may be some cost inflation. He said the consultant team worked with staff over the past few months to fine tune the process and make sure each consultant has the right scope of work. However, he acknowledged it is difficult to anticipate all of the required steps.
Mr. McChesney reviewed each of the proposed consultant contracts as follows:
• CG Engineering is a local firm that worked with the Port on the Harbor Square Building 3 Project and conducted the condition survey on the Seawall and North Portwalk. CG Engineering will be the prime consultant, coordinating all of the other consultants. They will do the civil design, structural design, permitting support and survey. Their budget is anticipated to be $291,654. The scope of work requires them to provide 30%, 60%, 90% and final drawings, as well as the actual bid specifications and a cost estimate.
• Makers has already done a public access plan for the Port, so this work would be a follow on. Makers will provide the architectural design for all elements above the structure (walkway, lighting, landscaping, seating areas, trash/recycling enclosures, etc.). Their proposed budget for this work is $116,061, and the scope of work will require them to provide 30%, 60%, 90% and final drawings, as well as bid specifications and a cost estimate.
• Harbor Power has worked on several electrical issues at the Port in recent years. They will do all of the electrical design work, which he anticipates will reach out into the parking lot, as well.
• The Harris Group will do the plumbing and mechanical work that is necessary for the project.
• Landau Associates has worked with the Port on a variety of projects and is imminently qualified to do geotechnical work and environmental studies. They will take the lead in getting the JARPA permit.
Commissioner Faires asked if Landau Associates would be required to provide reports, as well. Mr. McChesney answered that at least a few reports would be prepared, including a geotechnical report and an endangered species/habitat assessment. These two items will become part of the packet that supports the permit application.
Mr. McChesney reviewed the proposed schedule, noting that it is anticipated it will take 546 days to get through the permitting process to the point where the project can go out to bid. That means it will likely be April or May of 2023 before all of the required permits will be in hand. The schedule is subject to change, but he believes it represents adequate time to accomplish each of the steps. He reminded the Commission of the previous decision not change the plan view footprint of the project, which should simplify the permit process.
Commissioner Faires asked if that decision pertains only to items west of the seawall or if it includes the parking lot, as well. Mr. McChesney said it only applies to the overwater portions of the project, which will require a JARPA permit that involves the Corps of Engineers, other resource agencies, and the tribes. What the Port does on the upland side will be more of a City concern that will be discussed and resolved during the Shoreline Permit process. While the two permits will run on separate tracks, there will be some commonality of input, and both permits must be obtained before the project can go to construction.
Commissioner Faires asked if the consultant team anticipates that the timeline for the Shoreline Permit will be equal to or less than the timeline for the JARPA Permit. Mr. McChesney said he met with a City planner last week, walking the site and providing a preview of the project. The goal was to identify issues that the Port should pay close attention to. The City planner has a clear understanding of the project and the Port can expect a good amount of collaboration and cooperation from them. Afterall, the project will benefit the City and community for many years.
Commissioner Johnston agreed that the Shoreline Permit process will be fairly straightforward. The bigger issue will by the JARPA Permit, which involves the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The process will involve a lot of coordination and negotiation between Landau Associates, the tribes, and the two agencies, and there will be requirements for mitigation.
Commissioner Orvis summarized that the Portwalk may have some curves in it as it goes around existing gates so they don’t have to encroach further into the water. He expressed his belief that the waves will make the Portwalk more attractive. Commissioner Faires agreed. Mr. McChesney said these issues will be addressed during the design process, and the Commission will have many opportunities to provide input. He is hoping the Commission can have an in-person retreat in the spring to discuss the project to ensure support from the Commissioners and the stakeholders. Makers scope of work includes stakeholder outreach. He summarized that the Port’s goal is to achieve the required permits as expeditiously as possible, but they must step carefully and make sure all of the boxes are checked, including engagement with local officials and stakeholders.
Commissioner Orvis commented that a large room with a lot of air flow will be necessary in order for the Commissioners to meet in person. The Edmonds Yacht Club might have just such a space. Mr. McChesney said he would like the retreat to take place no later than May. If they cannot gather without restrictions by that time, they will find an alternative location where they can all spread out.
Mr. McChesney requested that the Commissioners approve the consultant agreements individually. While it is a bit awkward, there are advantages to the Port for using this approach.
Commissioner Johnston reviewed that a lot of thinking took place as the consultant team was selected. He asked if the process and selection is consistent with state requirements. Mr. McChesney said the process has been reviewed by the Port Attorney and he believes it complies with the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and other Port policies. Port Attorney Cattle confirmed that the process meets all of the Port’s legal requirements.
Commissioner Preston commented that, when it comes to the costs associated with each of the agreements, it is important to acknowledge there will be some variability because they are based upon certain assumptions. He said he supports the consultant team process rather than having a separate process for each of the consultants. While the project will be costly, it will result in a great asset for the community that will last a long time. He said he is excited to get the project moving and he is frustrated that the permitting process will take so much time.
Commissioner Orvis said he supports the proposed process and timeline and is ready to approve the agreements so the work can be started.
Commissioner Faires agreed with Commissioner Preston that costs identified in each of the agreements are estimates and will likely increase over time. They need to get the project right because it will be in place for a long time.
Commissioner Johnston agreed that there will be unanticipated costs as the project moves forward. However, he is confident that the consultant team is very communicative and will keep the Port well-informed as the project moves forward so there are no surprises in the end. Commissioner Harris concurred.
COMMISSIONER PRESTON MOVED THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AND EXECUTE AN ENGINEERING SERVICE CONTRACT WITH CG ENGINEERING FOR THE DESIGN AND PERMITTING SERVICES REQUIRED FOR THE NORTH PORTWALK AND SEAWALL RECONSTRUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $291,654. COMMISSIONER ORVIS SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
COMMISSIONER ORVIS MOVED THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AND EXECUTE AN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN CONTRACT WITH MAKERS ARCHITECTURAL AND URBAN DESIGN FOR DESIGN AND PERMITTING SERVICES REQUIRED FOR NORTH PORTWALK AND SEAWALL RECONSTRUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $116,061. COMMISSIONER PRESTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
COMMISSIONER ORVIS MOVED THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AND EXECUTE A GEOTECHNICAL STUDY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY CONTRACT WITH LANDAU ASSOCIATES FOR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN SERVICES REQUIRED FOR THE NORTH PORTWALK AND SEAWALL RECONSTRUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $81,100. COMMISSIONER PRESTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
COMMISSIONER PRESTON MOVED THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AND EXECUTE AN ELECTRICAL DESIGN CONTRACT WITH HARBOR POWER ENGINEERS FOR ELECTRICAL DESIGN SERVICES REQUIRED FOR THE NORTH PORTWALK AND SEAWALL RECONSTRUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $74,290. COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON MOVED THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AND EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH HARRIS GROUP FOR PIPING AND PLUMPING ENGINEERING AND DESIGN SERVICES REQUIRED FOR NORTH PORTWALK AND SEAWALL RECONSTRUCTION IN THE AMOUNT OF $44,400. COMMISSIONER FAIRES SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Commissioner Orvis commented that the Commission has discussed the project, the process and the consultant team on numerous occasions. Tonight’s actions simply affirm what has already been decided in the long-term discussions.
CONTINUATION OF RESOLUTION NO. 20-03 DECLARING LOCAL EMERGENCY AND DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
Mr. McChesney reported that there have been no emergency actions taken by the Executive Director under this specific authority.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. Baker reported that the boat that was beached north of the ferry dock ended up in the Edmonds Marina. The boat was in very bad condition, and the Port’s goal was to mitigate risk, reduce the cost to the Port and expedite the boat onward to its next destination. Port staff worked with the boat owner to do some overnight dewatering to keep the vessel afloat until the necessary repairs could be made. The boat has left the marina.
Again, Mr. McChesney reported that he met with the City Planner to talk about the Portwalk and North Seawall Projects, as well as other projects. The meeting was successful.
COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Orvis reported that he attended the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County’s (EASCs) Legislative Kick-off where Senators Wagner and Robertson and Representative Eslick were present along with representatives from entities in Snohomish County. The big item for most people was the transportation budget, and Snohomish County is primarily concerned with Highways 2 and 522. They are particularly worried about the trestle in Everett, which is a major bottleneck. Education was a topic of discussion, as were the words “equitable” and “inclusive,” though no one has a clear definition of either. Senator Wagner suggested the biggest loss is the face-to-face contact with constituents, as communications must take place via email and phone. He also said the budget is not as big a deal as it was made out to be, and there are opportunities for reconsideration. There has also been more money coming in than expected. While there is still a deficit, it is not as large or disastrous as it might have been. He said there will be a push for a capital gains tax, but primarily as a test to determine if it is legal. Representative Eslick is primarily interested in laying a foundation for public health in preparation for the next health emergency.
Commissioner Johnston reported that he attended the Washington Public Port Association’s (WPPAs) Award Session, where ports won awards in environmental, public outreach and other categories. There was an impressive array of accomplishments by the Port of Washougal, Port of Seattle and Port of Everett. Soon, he anticipates the Port of Edmonds will have a project to submit for consideration.
Commissioner Johnston announced that he would participate in the WPPA Legislative Roundtable on January 12th.
Commissioner Orvis asked if the Port’s Stormwater Program (crushed shells canisters inserted in the manholes) might be expanded to address stormwater issues at the marsh. Commissioner Johnston asked the schedule for the next round of testing and reporting by Landau Associates. Mr. McChesney agreed to provide an update at the next meeting. Commissioner Johnston suggested the goal is for the Port to partner with the City of Edmonds and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to insert the canisters inside the manhole covers that surround the marsh and other sensitive environments. If the data holds out for the next round of testing, the system would offer a low-cost, highly-effective option that would be attractive to both the City and WSDOT. Commissioner Harris suggested the Environmental Committee should meet to discuss the data and consider additional pilot programs for 2021.
Commissioner Preston said he plans to attend the State of Everett Event sponsored by the EASC. He said he also thanked the Edmonds Yacht Club for their participation in the Holiday on the Dock event. It seemed that more people offered positive comments about the lighted boats this year than in years past.
Commissioner Preston asked Ms. Williams to comment on the plan to hold the Seattle Boat Show virtually. Ms. Williams said the event is called “Seattle Boat Show Connected,” and is scheduled for January 28th through 31st. They are offering a number of seminars and on-line events, as well as exhibitors. There was a free offer to be an exhibitor to display basic information. While boat dealers need more virtual exhibits to show people their product, staff determined that the best fit for the Port would be to simply have a presence as an exhibitor. They intend to offer the boat show special again in 2021 for people who sign up for moorage by March 1st. Mr. Baker noted that occupancy is quite high now, so money that was set aside for marketing will likely be reallocated to other events. They will continue to advertise via social media and the Port newsletter. Ms. Williams said an email was recently sent to past tenants who have previously taken advantage of the boat show special to see if they are interested in the vacant spaces. By the end of January, they will have a better idea of the vacancy count.
Commissioner Preston asked Ms. Williams to elaborate on the Edmonds Yacht Club’s Safety Seminar Events. Ms. Williams said they have currently scheduled three or four dates, one per month starting on January 13th. The yacht club issued a press release in My Edmonds News, and it was also posted on the Port’s website and included in the newsletter. An additional post will be done on Wednesday. Participants can register on line, and the seminars will take place via Zoom. Mr. Baker announced that he would attend the event to field any questions that are directed at the Port.
Commissioner Faires announced that he would attend the Edmonds Economic Development Commission meeting on January 20th. The discussion will primarily focus on near-term priorities and activities. He recalled that Neil Tibbott prepared a summary of the commission’s priorities and proposals.
Commissioner Harris announced that she would attend the EASC’s Coffee Chat and the WPPA’s weekly roundtable session on January 12th. She pointed out that the EASC’s State of Everett Event was pushed out a few weeks.
Commissioner Orvis said a number of grants for ports were mentioned in the WPPA Legislative Committee Meeting. He suggested staff consider opportunities for grant funding for the Portwalk and North Seawall Project. Mr. McChesney agreed and said staff would start this work soon.
Commissioner Johnston welcomed Council Member Olsen as the Port’s new liaison from the Edmonds City Council.
The Commission meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.
Port Commission Secretary