15 Nov Commission Meeting Minutes 10-28-19
PORT COMMISSION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING October 28, 2019
Steve Johnston, President
Jim Orvis, Vice President
Angela Harris, Secretary
Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Marla Kempf, Deputy Director
Tina Drennan, Finance Manager
Brittany Williams, Manager of Properties and Marketing
Bradford Cattle, Port Attorney
Karin Noyes, Recorder
CALL TO ORDER
President Johnston 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 ORVIS MOVED THAT THE CONSENT AGENDA BE APPROVED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
B. APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 14, 2019 MEETING MINUTES
C. APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,146.549.89
COMMISSIONER FAIRES SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Charles Malmgren, Tenant, said he is a sport fisherman and has been a tenant of the Port since 2009. He said he was present to voice concern about the Port’s new Dry Storage policy that limits the number of moves to 21 per month or $75 charge for each move over 7 in a month. He recalled that, when approving the new rate structure, the Commission discussed that the previous rate schedule resulted in the low-use tenants subsidizing the high-use tenants. It was stated that, in order to remain profitable, the moves had to be reduced or paid for. While the decision was based on truth, not all of the facts were disclosed. For example, seasonal tenants pay 4 months of rent for 3 months of service, and they fill the vacant space that Port management can’t fill with low frequency users and improve the Port’s bottom line. Whether the Port staff is launching boats or idle, the equipment costs are ongoing. He pointed out that Dry Storage has been profitable since 2014, in spite of capital projects that included restroom upgrades and dock improvements. He acknowledged that Dry Storage requires expensive equipment to operate, and he is willing to pay his fair share of the equipment maintenance and replacement costs. However, it is important to note that the size of the equipment is based on the largest boat in Dry Storage and not on how frequently a boat is moved. The proposal presented by staff did not indicate that the new rate structure would result in any cost savings for maintenance and replacement of equipment.
Mr. Malmgren said he pays over $3,700 per year to store his small aluminum boat in Dry Storage, and he purchases over $800 in fuel each year. Although he averages just 4 launches per month, the new rate structure will cost him significantly more per year without improving his customer experience. The $75 per move charge means the Port is charging a penalty rather than a fee. He understands that the Port’s ideal Dry Storage customer is one who rents space but rarely uses his/her boat, but the onerous rate changes send the wrong message to the sport fishing community.
Dean Nichols, Port District Resident and Tenant, said he serves on the task force that is working on the Public Access Plan. The task force is looking at a number of projects that can be done to improve the public’s experience along the waterfront. Utilizing the public survey, the task force has worked with a consultant to prepare preliminary concepts for the Commission’s considerations. He voiced concern that the 2020 Preliminary Budget only identifies $50,000 for implementation of the Public Access Plan, and he asked the Commission to consider allocating additional funds for this purpose. He pointed out that a large number of people use the boardwalk on a daily basis, yet it is not very attractive in its current state. He suggested it would be appropriate to use taxpayer funds to implement the plan on a quicker timeframe. He recalled that when he served on the Port Commission, there were numerous discussions about the tax revenue, which has remained at $400,000 per year for a long time. While there has been some discussion that the Port should be self-sustaining, he suggested that tax revenue could be allocated to projects that improve the waterfront for the public’s use.
Mr. Nichols said that, based on the consultant’s preliminary report, the cost of implementing the Public Access Plan will be substantial and implementation will need to be done in phases over time. While $50,000 will fund a few of the smaller projects, these projects will not have a significant impact on the overall appearance of the boardwalk and its surrounding areas. He urged the Commission to think how implementation of the improvements will benefit the public and consider making implementation of the plan a priority. He said it is his belief that the highest priority should be improving the safety of the walking surface. Many people currently walk in the parking lot because it has a flat, smooth surface. Improving the public plaza should be another priority since it draws people to the Port.
Mr. McChesney explained that the Public Access Plan is taking longer than originally anticipated because they decided to spend the summer conducting a survey and collecting public input. The responses have been compiled, and they now have a very clear picture of what the public would like. Many indicated that they like the walkway just as it is, but that doesn’t necessarily take into account issues related to safety (i.e. walking surface, gate enclosures, etc.).
Ms. Williams reported that the consultant will present the draft Public Access Plan to the Commission on November 12th. The presentation will include some general cost estimates, as well as a recommendation of potential projects to improve the waterfront.
As was pointed out by Mr. Nichols, Mr. McChesney said it is not possible for the Port to implement the entire plan at one time. Commissioner Johnston asked if the consultant’s presentation would include recommendations for prioritizing the projects identified in the plan. Mr. McChesney commented that prioritization and implementation will be left to the Commission to decide as they go through the budget process each year.
Mr. Nichols suggested that the top five priorities should be:
1. Improving the walkway’s surface to make it smoother and safer.
2. Adding a lot of additional landscaping to make the waterfront more attractive.
3. Upgrading the public plaza.
4. Relocating the garbage enclosures away from the docks.
5. Changing the existing gates and fencing, which is currently very industrial looking. This would make the walkway more attractive and allow the walkway to be widened.
Mr. McChesney advised that the Commission has talked about upgrading the plaza independent of the Public Access Plan, and the two projects will be merged together. They haven’t finalized the design for the plaza upgrade yet, and he is not sure how much of the work will get done in 2020. They should hear more about the project during the consultant’s presentation on November 12th.
Commissioner Faires summarized that implementation of the Public Access Plan will be a multi-year project that is primarily financially driven. The Commission has talked about providing funding for public amenities at the marina once the Harbor Square loan has been paid off, which will occur on January 1, 2020. He agreed with Mr. Nichols that a $50,000 allocation is low, particularly in light of the fact that the Port will no longer be making payments for the Harbor Square buildings. Mr. Nichols commented that, from a political standpoint, it would behoove the Commissioners to be able to tell the taxpayers that the tax revenue, which is no longer needed to pay off the Harbor Square loan, would be used for public amenities and not to subsidize the tenants of the marina.
Council Member Teitzel announced that he sent in his ballot today. He reviewed that Edmonds had a 40% voter turnout for the primary election, which was one of the highest in the county. However, that means that 60% of the registered voters did not participate. He expressed his belief that voting is a precious right and this is an important election, with four council positions, mayor, port commissioners and state initiatives on the ballot. He said he would like to see greater participation, and he encouraged everyone to vote.
PUBLIC HEARING ON THE 2020 PRELIMINARY BUDGET
Mr. Cattle reviewed the rules and procedures for the public hearing. Mr. McChesney reminded that the Commission is required to conduct a public hearing prior to approving the 2020 Budget. The Commission is scheduled to take final action on the 2020 Annual budget on November 12th.
Ms. Drennan advised that the budget packet has been available on the Port’s website since Thursday, October 24th. She noted that the following changes were made to the budget after it was last presented to the Commission on October 14th:
• Page 17, Note P1, reduced Harbor Square Property revenue from $1,845,000 to $1,833,000 to reflect possible Building 3 tenant usage of space in Building 1 during major repairs on Building 3.
• Page 26, Note O27, Repair and Maintenance — removed ½ crosswalk cost of $40,000 as the crosswalk is currently being constructed.
• Page 43, Parking Permits – Correction of a typographical error.
Charles Malmgren asked where he could find the proposed 2020 Dry Storage rates, and Ms. Drennan answered that they are listed on Page 38 of the budget packet. Mr. Malmgren asked what the proposed rate increase equates to, and Ms. Kempf answered that the rate would increase by 3.3%, which is based on the Consumer Price Index plus 1% and is the Port’s standard formula for rate and fee adjustments. Mr. Malmgren said he was under the impression that the Dry Storage rate would remain at the 2019 level to offer tenants some relief from the impacts of the new rate structure. However, it appears that, in addition to the new rate structure, the standard rate for the space would also be increased. This equates to a greater cost for less service.
Jack Bevan, Edmonds, commended Ms. Drennan for creating budget documents that are easy to read. However, he raised concern about the significant increase in the cost of insurance. He asked if the Port bids on insurance. If so, how long is it open for bid. He said the 12% increase seems high.
No other audience members expressed a desire to comment, and Commissioner Johnston closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Faires recalled that, at the last meeting, it was discussed that the $50,000 allocation for the Public Access Plan would be used primarily to renovate the public plaza. However, there was no discussion about using the money that would be available as a result of no longer having to make payments on the Harbor Square Buildings to implement the Public Access Plan.
Commissioner Harris pointed out that the Commission didn’t have enough information to allocate additional funding for implementation of the Public Access Plan. Following the consultant’s presentation of the final plan, the Commission may decide to increase the amount as appropriate.
Ms. Drennan suggested that rather it being a funding issue, Port staff is more concerned that there are already a number of large projects scheduled to move forward in 2020 and there may not be enough staff resources to implement significant elements of the Public Access Plan, too. Commissioner Faires said he understands this concern, but he is concerned there will always be a reason not to pursue the public improvements because it they will not be prioritized sufficiently. The Port will have additional funding as a result of making the final payment on the Harbor Square loan in January, and he would like to use that funding for public amenities along the waterfront.
Commissioner Orvis said he understands that there might not be enough staff resources to implement large elements of the Public Access Plan in 2020, but that should not be a limiting factor. Although the Port’s goal is to do as many projects as possible in house, it may be appropriate to hire an outside contractor to complete some of the larger projects. Ms. Drennan pointed out that the Facilities Manager would still be responsible for managing the projects, including those that are done by consultants and contractors.
Mr. McChesney said Commissioner Harris was correct that additional funding for implementation of the Public Access Plan was not worked into the 2020 Preliminary Budget because they didn’t know what the recommended projects might be. Staff does have a lot to do, but they can contract some of the work out, if needed. He said the Commission could modify the numbers, but they still don’t know exactly what they will be doing at this point. Commissioner Harris summarized that there is a timing issue, but she doesn’t want to limit what can be done in 2020 simply because the budget must be approved prior to completion of the Public Access Plan.
Mr. McChesney commented that improving the boardwalk’s surface will be costly and require permits. Staff’s strategy is to do things that will have a more immediate impact first, such as renovating the public plaza and relocating the garbage enclosures. At this point, the Commission has not had an opportunity to review the menu of options to identify priorities.
Commissioner Faires observed that, although the consultant won’t present the draft Public Access Plan to the Commission until November 12th, the Commission already knows enough to increase the 2020 budget for implementation of the plan. He would rather have allocated funding that is not spent as opposed to overrunning the budget. He proposed that the allocation be increased from $50,000 to $100,000.
Commissioner Preston commented that, even if the $50,000 allocation remains unchanged when the budget is approved on November 12th, the Commission would still have the ability to allocate funding for additional projects beyond $50,000 as they are identified. Commissioner Orvis concurred. He commented that the 2020 budget represents what the Port plans to do right now. However, after the consultant presents his report, the Commission can decide to increase the funding for implementation of the Public Access Plan, as appropriate, even after the 2020 Budget has been approved.
Commissioner Harris suggested that, rather than increasing the allocation now, they should adopt the 2020 Budget with the $50,000 allocation and then increase the allocation, as necessary, to fund projects that are identified in the plan. Ms. Drennan agreed that the Commission has the ability and flexibility to approve funds for that purpose.
Again, Commissioner Faires reminded them of repeated discussions about using the funds that will no longer be needed to pay off the Harbor Square loan to fund public amenity projects. He doesn’t want the Port to simply retain the additional funds.
Ms. Drennan summarized that the Commission did not make any changes to the 2020 Preliminary Budget, and it will be presented to them on November 12th for final approval.
PORT OPERATIONS 3RD QUARTER ACTIVITY REPORT
Ms. Kempf presented the Port Operations 3rd Quarter Activity Report, noting that 3rd quarter is always the busiest, and 2019 was no exception. She highlighted the following:
• The number of roundtrip launches was down by 1% or 14 fewer compared to 3rd quarter 2018. One-way trips were up by 35% or 73 more. Some of this shift from roundtrips to one way was due to an operational efficiency change made in the way the Port charges out Jacobsen Marine’s launches. Fishing opportunities in Areas 9 and 10 were also good this year.
• In Guest Moorage, 1,914 boats stayed for a total of 3,167 nights. This year, in 3rd quarter the Port limited group reservations to a maximum of five boats so it could accommodate the high demand for guest moorage from visitors and fishing activity. One group, with two boats, stayed four nights in Guest Moorage during 3rd quarter. This year, loan-a-slip spaces were in short supply and the demand was high compared to previous years. There were 57 loan-a-slip spaces during 3rd quarter 2019 compared to 78 during the same period in 2018. However, the 57 spaces had 999 nights of use as compared to 628 nights of use in 2018. Staff did a good job of contacting tenants when they saw empty spaces, reminding them of the opportunity to put their slips in the loan-a-slip program. This helped increase the number of nights, as well.
• Fuel prices were down by 5% on unleaded and 7% on diesel at the end of 3rd quarter compared to the same time in 2018. Total gallons pumped decreased by .027% or 555 gallons less than in 3rd quarter 2018. Gasoline decreased by 611 gallons and diesel increased by 56 gallons.
• The Travelift and Boatyard were down by 58 days or 9% in 3rd quarter compared to the same time period in 2018. Sling time and pressure wash numbers remained the same. Sling time with no wash was up by 53% or 17 boats compared to 3rd quarter 2018.
• In-water moorage terminations decreased by 34 in 3rd quarter 2018 to 33 in 3rd quarter 2019. The turnover ratio decreased from 5.13% in 3rd quarter 2018 to 4.98% in 3rd quarter 2019.
• The waitlist remained constant at 134 names, and there are only one or two names on the list that are a result of the Port requiring a tenant to relocate to a larger space.
• Dry Storage terminations increased from 20 in 3rd quarter 2018 to 25 in 3rd quarter 2019. The turnover ratio increased from 8.6% to 10.73%.
• The new dock protocols, new hours, new amenities and new “pay-per-move” were offered in Dry Storage in 2019, and the 2nd season of the new dock protocol has received positive feedback from Dry Storage customers.
• Due to low demand from customers for launching before 7 a.m., low daylight levels, and noise complaints from neighbors, staff made the decision to open at 7 p.m. on weekdays during the Chinook opening this year and 6 a.m. on weekends. In 2018, the operations opened at 5 a.m.
• The total boat handling moves by the forklifts for 3rd quarter was 5,665, which is about 12% less than 3rd quarter 2018.
• There was ongoing seasonal staff training throughout 3rd quarter 2019, and 8 seasonal staff were hired this summer.
• Snohomish County Fire District No. 1 provided fire extinguisher training to Port staff on September 18th.
• The Edmonds Coho Derby returned on September 7th, and the Everett Coho Derby had two weigh stations in Edmonds on September 21st and 22nd.
• Sea Jazz ended on September 4th.
Commissioner Johnston asked if staff received any negative responses about the decision to limit reservations to just 5 per night. Ms. Kempf answered that some of the groups were disappointed, but they agreed to check back next year. She explained that in years when fishing opportunities are limited, the Port will accept reservations during July and August. In years when fishing is good, the intent is to limit reservations and offer the spaces on a first-come, first-serve basis. This enables the Port to serve a larger variety of customers.
Commissioner Preston asked how many people on the waitlist are current tenants wanting to transfer slips. Ms. Kempf answered none, and explained that the waitlist is separate from the transfer list. She said about 30 people on the transfer list are waiting for alternative slips. She explained that, when an alternative larger slip opens up, it is offered to tenants on the transfer list first. If the tenant accepts the slip, then the slip that is vacated by the tenant will be offered to the next person on the waiting list.
Commissioner Faires recalled that in 2010 and 2011, Port staff had to contact several people on the waiting list because a large number of them were not ready to move into a slip. Ms. Kempf said this still happens, but to a lesser degree. Oftentimes, people put their name on the list because they are planning to purchase a boat, and they wait to purchase the boat until they have a slip. Currently, the demand for moorage is high in Puget Sound. Commissioner Faires said he would be interested to see actual numbers for the amount of turn downs. The number should have decreased significantly since 2011.
HARBOR SQUARE 3RD QUARTER REPORT
Ms. Williams presented the 3rd Quarter Harbor Square Report, highlight the following:
• Gross projected revenue was up 3.39% or roughly $17,306 over the same period in 2018.
• The occupancy rate at the end of 3rd quarter was 98.37%, which is down .15% from the same period in 2018.
• There were no new leases or ending leases.
• There were 7 lease extensions, and one worth noting was for a tenant who occupies a large footprint in Building 2 who extended for two years.
• Some in-house tenant improvements were completed in September, and Suite 201 in Building 1 was turned into two separate rentable suits.
• Major projects during 3rd quarter included the installation of a new tile floor at the entryway of Building 5, re-sanding the interior pavers in Building 2 and paint touchups in Building 2. In addition, the major HVAC installation project moved forward in July with the installation of 12 new units on Building 2. The parking is between Building 2 and the Harbor Square Athletic Club was also re-paved in July.
• There were no incidents to report during quarter 3.
Commissioner Johnston asked if the Port’s intent is to hold the recently vacated space in Suite 201 of Building 1 in reservation to utilize during the Building 3 project. Ms. Williams explained that the current tenant, who was occupying the space previously, moved to one side and a new tenant took over the other side. The space is completely full now, but one of the leases expires in January. As a foresight in helping the Building 3 renovations go smoothing, this vacated space will not be marketed as space that is available in January.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. McChesney reported that applications for permits for the Harbor Square Building 3 renovation have been submitted to the City of Edmonds, and staff is now in the process of preparing the bid documents. The permit review time is expected to be about 8 weeks. At this time, he is seeking Commission guidance as to the exterior materials and colors that will be used for the project. At the last meeting, it was suggested that lap siding would be the material of choice, but the Commission did not provide any direction relative to color. Since the last meeting, some people have indicated they like the panel material rather than the lap siding.
Commissioner Johnston asked if the panel material would be consistent or compliment the other existing buildings, recognizing that other buildings may need to be rehabilitated in future years, and ultimately, all of the buildings need to match. He expressed his belief that the panels are more modern than the lap siding. Ms. Williams agreed that the panels would result in a more modern update, and they happen to match the current stucco buildings better. From a maintenance perspective, the panel material would be easier to maintain and would provide the look the Port wants to maintain as each building is improved.
Commissioner Orvis said he would support using the panel material, but he voiced concern that painting the entire building one color with no breaks would result in a prison-like appearance. Ms. Williams agreed and said she would prefer to break up the façade with color blocking to make the buildings more aesthetically pleasing.
Commissioner Faires said he doesn’t have a color preference, but the buildings need to all look the same or compliment each other 10 years from now when they have all been rehabilitated. Whatever they decide for Building 3 needs to be applied to the other buildings, as well.
Mr. McChesney summarized that the Commission supports using the panel material and painting the building to match the existing buildings. He reminded them that, at some point in the not too distant future, all of the buildings will need to be repainted, and they can talk about changing the color scheme at that time. The Commissioners concurred.
Mr. McChesney reported that he met with the Public Access Plan task force to finalize the draft plan in preparation for the consultant’s presentation on November 12th. He and Commissioners Johnston and Harris also met with representatives from the Interfaith Climate Action Committee to discuss opportunities for solar installations on Port property.
Lastly, Mr. McChesney reported that the pump on the south launcher at Dry Storage has been repaired, and they are looking forward to delivery of the new travelift the week after Thanksgiving.
COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Faires reported that the Edmonds Economic Development Commission meeting on October 16th was cancelled for lack of a quorum. He also reported that he reviewed the information that staff provided regarding potential opportunities to improve energy efficiency as part of the Building 3 renovation. Mr. McChesney advised that the Port will have to make some decisions soon, but he is still waiting for the final report on the solar analysis. He reported that he is scheduled to meet with representatives from the Snohomish County Public Utility District on October 31st to test ideas and find out if there are incentive or rebates available.
Commissioner Preston reported on his attendance at the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) Conference a few weeks ago and said it was nice to hear more about what non-public marinas are doing. At the conference, he learned how the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend is working with the school district and the Center for Wooden Boats to integrate boating programs into the school curriculum. He voiced frustration that school districts are eliminating trade programs, and suggested there may be an opportunity for the Port to support a similar program in the community. Commissioner Faires commented that ports are not precluded from partnering with school districts to provide programs of this type under certain circumstances.
Commissioner Preston said that derelict boats were another topic of discussion at the NMTA Conference. Ms. Kempf added that it has been a topic of conversation at the conference for a number of years, and this year, Troy Wood from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources gave a presentation on how state monies are allocated for derelict vessels. The state has money to reimburse for certain things, but you have to be first in line or the money is gone. Both she and Ms. Drennan keep a close watch on legislation related to derelict boats and there was no new legislation in the last session.
Commissioner Preston said he also learned at the NMTA Conference that plaques announcing whale sightings are now being posted at marinas in the San Juan Islands and on boats to warn that there are whale sightings in the area and to take caution. In addition, he learned that fiberglass boats can be recycled by grinding them up and creating fuel for cement plants. He learned about Rhode Island’s fiberglass recycling project, specifically, and was advised that the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend is looking at the feasibility of doing something similar in Washington State. Ms. Kempf said the Port has responded to a set of questions regarding the feasibility study.
Commissioner Preston reported that he attended the October 22nd City Council Meeting where the consultant presented the results of the Edmonds Marsh Study. The consultants did a great job answering questions about the marsh, but it appears that the cost of daylighting Willow Creek and improving the marsh are unknown at this time, and there are still a number of variables.
Council Member Teitzel commented that $16 million is the best guest for rehabilitating the marsh and daylighting Willow Creek, but there are still a lot of unknowns. Commissioner Faires said his understanding is that the consultant’s report was vague. Council Member Teitzel said the report projected a channel along the railroad tracks, but it excluded any property currently owned by Unocal, and the local fisheries experts feel it would be better to have the channel run through the Unocal property.
Commissioner Preston reported on his attendance at the Washington Public Port Association (WPPA) Small Ports Seminar, where it was discussed that there is Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) money available and some of the funding may go unspent.
Commissioner Orvis said he appreciates the letter from the Visual Arts Representative from the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation acknowledging the Port’s contribution to the 2019 festival. He suspects that all of the Port Commissioners would agree that the Port gets more out of its contribution than it puts into the program.
Commissioner Orvis said he also attended the WPPA Small Ports Seminar, along with Commissioners Harris, Preston and Johnston. A team, composed of Port of Edmonds Commissioners and representatives from the Ports of Hoodsport and Whitman County, won the “Stump the Chump” competition. It was a good exercise in knowledge about public port responsibilities, history and regulations that govern ports. While they all enjoyed the competition, they learned a lot, too. He said he also attended the public works workshop where he learned a lot about what ports should and should not do. For example, ports should not approve leases that provide for buildings to be given to them at the end of the lease. Instead, the leases should say that tenants must remove the buildings, recognizing that ports could choose to purchase the buildings at the end of a lease. The concern is that tenants may cease to maintain the buildings in the last years of the lease and ports could end up with derelict buildings that have to be torn down. There was also some discussion about insurance and questions about who would be liable for what happens on a tenant’s property.
As discussed earlier by Commissioner Preston, Commissioner Orvis said the RCO is seeking applications for grant funding, and there may be opportunities for the Port to take advantage of this funding to implement its Public Access Plan. It was also announced that Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) funding is now available for projects in urban areas, and they are encouraging people to contact them for help with the application process. Ms. Drennan said she recently received an email regarding WSDOT grants and learned that the deadline for submitting grant applications is November 1st, which is not sufficient time for the Port to complete an application. Commissioner Orvis said representatives from the RCO indicated that they may accept applications beyond the deadline for projects that are compelling.
Commissioner Johnston reported that, on behalf of the WPPA, he drafted the final comments on the Year Two Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force Report, reflecting the WPPA’s call for prioritizing the 40-plus recommendations by the Task Force to the Governor and legislature. The report specifically recommended that the top five priorities be adopted and funded. The WPPA supports the establishment of an ongoing Orca Recovery Program under the Governor’s Office, and it strenuously opposes the removal of any of the existing Snake River or Columbia River dams as being potentially devastating from a clean energy production, flood control and economic standpoint.
Commissioner Johnston announced that he has been selected for the 5th year in a row to judge the statewide American Council of Engineering Companies annual environmental and engineering projects. He noted that a number of Washington projects have done well at the national level, as well, and he is looking forward to strong participation from public ports.
Commissioner Johnston announced his plan to attend the WPPA 2019 Annual Meeting in Tacoma on November 20th through 22nd.
Commissioner Harris reported that she and Commissioner Johnston met with a representative from the City of Edmonds to learn about the City’s program for using alternative solutions for pesticides and herbicides. She said she would type up her notes and present them to the Environmental Committee for review prior to the end of the year. Commissioner Johnston said it was interesting to learn that the City of Edmonds posts signs to inform the public of what is being used for weed and pest control, and they have received positive responses from the community.
Commissioner Orvis said he learned at the Small Port Seminar that Anacortes has successfully run fiber optics through its watermains. He suggested this approach could be a potential solution for getting fiber optics to the properties west of the railroad tracks.
Commissioner Harris reported that she and Commissioner Johnston and Mr. McChesney met with representatives from the Interfaith Climate Change Council to discuss the possible future use of solar energy at the Port. She received a card thanking them for the meeting, which went well. She said she looks forward to seeing where the concept goes in the future.
The Commission meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Angela Harris, Port Commission Secretary