27 Nov Commission Meeting Minutes 11-12-19
PORT COMMISSION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING. November 12, 2019
Steve Johnston, President (by phone)
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
Jordan Stephens, Port Attorney
Karin Noyes, Recorder
CALL TO ORDER
Vice President Orvis 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 PRESTON MOVED THAT THE CONSENT AGENDA BE APPROVED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
B. APPROVAL OF OCTOBER 28, 2019 MEETING MINUTES
C. APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,812,178.56
D. AUTHORIZATION FOR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO WRITE OFF $1,312.13 AND SEND ACCOUNT TO COLLECTIONS
COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
There were no public comments
PUBLIC ACCESS PLAN
Ms. Williams reviewed that, after receiving public input earlier in the year regarding the desire for upgraded public access facilities, the Port enlisted the guidance of Makers Architecture and Urban Design to research the concept further and develop a plan. The consultant team is now prepared to present the results of the project, which includes feedback from public involvement, as well as conceptual improvement plans for various aspects of the Port’s public access.
Bob Bengford, Partner, Makers Architecture and Urban Design, advised that the objective of the plan is to provide ala carte options for beautifying the Port’s public spaces. He recalled that at an early meeting with the Port Commission, it was discussed that, although the promenade has stood the test of time well, it is shop worn and needs to be refreshed. Commissioner Faires asked if the comment relative to the condition of the promenade applied primarily to the north marina promenade. Mr. Bengford responded that it applies to the entire promenade, but more so to the north marina promenade.
Mr. Bengford briefly reviewed that the project started with a kick-off meeting on January 29th, followed by a Commission retreat and Public Access Plan workshop on February 25th. Beginning in April, members of the consulting team spent afternoons at the marina talking to people on the promenade, telling them about the project and soliciting feedback. The overwhelming response was that people were primarily happy with the existing situation. However, they did indicate a desire to improve the promenade’s surface, landscaping, lighting, wayfinding signs, and railings. He noted that the timeline was extended beyond what was originally anticipated to accommodate the Commission’s request to expand the public outreach.
Commissioner Faires asked if respondents commented specifically on the trash and recycling enclosures. Mr. Bengford answered no, and Ms. Williams added that comments relative to the enclosures was brought up by the steering committee, which consisted of citizens, tenants and business owners. However, public comments about the need to improve the promenade could have included improving the trash and recycling facilities, too.
Erica Bush, Makers Architecture and Urban Design, explained that the plaza has become a fantastic gathering place for the community, as it hosts beautiful views over Puget Sound. The space has some features that work well, including the sandbox children’s area and the well-maintained landscaping. However, there is an expressed desire to update the plaza to allow for its best and highest year-round use. She said the plan includes three options for plaza design. None of the options are intended to be a final design but they each take into account the many concerns and opportunities the site offers. She said the goal of the three alternatives is to allow for larger gathering and performance capacity, provide more opportunities for people to pause and take advantage of the views, and increase the buffer from the southern parking area. She reviewed the alternatives as follows:
• Option 1 – Community Amphitheater. This alternative creates a classic amphitheater environment at the southern end of the site. A tiered seating structure would allow users to watch performances or look out towards the water. Plantings would remain adjacent to the terraced seating and could be further developed, and additional bench seating would be located along the edge of the grassy mound on the north end of the plaza to allow parents to comfortably watch their children while they play or allow for additional seating during events. The plan includes a covered pavilion at the southeast corner to provide a performance area, as well as weather protection so that performances can take place year-round. It could also be shared with groups that rent out the adjacent banquet room within Anthony’s. Commissioner Preston asked if the cover over the amphitheater would be retractable or movable, and Ms. Bush answered that it could be either.
David Olsen, Anthony’s, asked if this option would also provide a clear buffer between the plaza and the southern parking area. Ms. Bush answered that the proposal is consistent with the existing planters, but an additional planter could be added beyond the pavement. Mr. Bengford pointed out that the restrooms are located south of the plaza, and the planters, with a variety of tall grasses, would provide a great screen for this service area. Mr. Olsen asked if the plan would still allow vehicle access in this location, and Ms. Bush answered that an 18-foot right-of-way would be maintained between the structure and the planting areas, but she acknowledged that this option would be the most confining of the three.
Commissioner Preston asked if the tree in the northeast corner would create a barrier for pedestrians. Ms. Bush answered that the tree canopy would have sufficient height to allow pedestrians to walk under and close to the tree, but it would also provide a barrier to the parking and service area to the south. Mr. McChesney noted that a tree in this location could end up disrupting views. Ms. Bush acknowledged that you would have to carefully consider the tree species to ensure it does not grow to disrupt views in the future.
• Option 2 – Seascape Plan. This alternative is inspired by Puget Sound and encourages more of a natural flow of movement throughout the site. By cutting into the south end mound, the site would be opened in the center for larger groups while allowing for seating in imbedded benches that are called out as timber construction to add warmth and a modern element to the space. The existing seating along the western edge would be replaced by flexible extended benches and sitting boulders that allow users to picnic on or for kids to climb on. The plan would also provide more bench seating near the play area and open the northern entrance into the space. It also calls for a new covered pavilion for performances at the south end of the site.
Commissioner Faires observed that the existing tables are popular and frequently in use, and he would like to continue this ability. He also pointed out that, with the pavilion in the southeast corner, the proposal does not include ample seating for people to watch performances. He asked if the intent is that the open area would provide space for chairs to be brought in during events and then removed. He said he likes the idea of having additional seating on the mound in the northwest corner of the plaza where people could have an elevated view looking out towards the water. Ms. Bush pointed out that the existing tables result in wasted space since people typically only utilize one side so they can look out towards the water. The existing tables are also not ideal due to the slope, and setting the seating back into the mound would be a safer option.
• Option 3 – Terraced Gathering. This alternative calls for a gentler adjustment to the space. The performance space would be centered at the middle of the site and the cover would extend off the existing building versus the creation of a newly designed surface. The north mound would be slightly adjusted to allow for more seating space that would naturally flow into the mound. The southern mound would be cut back to allow for ample seating to be built into the slope to create a larger open space adjacent to it. The design also calls for adding additional landscaping to the southern terminus of the site to frame the plaza and shield views of the parking lot.
Commissioner Orvis asked if this option would impact the flower boxes and seating area that is utilized by the Beach Café. Ms. Bush answered that the area north of the plaza, which is currently utilized by Anthony’s Beach Café, would not be altered.
Mr. Olsen said he appreciates the concepts outlined in the three options, but his preference would be for Options 1 or 2. Option 3, which would have a performance space outside of Anthony’s, would require shared access and could be problematic. From a business perspective, he has concerns about potential impacts to guests in the banquet space if performances are held right outside the door. He commented that Option 1 appears to provide the best flow through the space and would encourage the use of spaces that are currently underutilized. Additional seating makes sense, too. He likes the idea of seating that allows people to either look out over the water or watch a performance. Option 2 would change the pedestrian flow, and he questioned whether people would be willing to change their habits. However, he felt Option 2 would be appealing from both a visual and practical standpoint. Options 1 and 2 also allow space for people to bring their own chairs to watch what is going on in the pavilion.
Commissioner Harris said she has similar concerns about Option 3 and would prefer Options 1 or 2. Mr. Olsen commented that, during the summer months, groups using the restaurant often spill outside. With Option 3, there could be a tendency for these groups to express some kind of right to use the space even though it doesn’t belong to Anthony’s.
Commissioner Johnston asked if any of the survey results landed on the plaza as a point of interest and if any of the comments offered suggestions for potential improvements. Ms. Williams said it was not on the survey’s list of concepts to be prioritized and commented on. Improving the plaza was brought up by staff this past summer when they realized the need to open up the space to accommodate large events. However, they received a number of comments about how much people enjoy the events that are held in the plaza, and people indicated a desire for more activities. Commissioner Johnston summarized that all three options take into account that people are satisfied with the flow and purpose of the plaza.
Sean McCormick, Makers Architecture and Urban Design, explained that the promenade has been broken into three segments or character areas:
• North Marina – Over time, the existing wood decking has become weathered and worn, and the Port has to regularly replace the planks for safety purposes. This has resulted in an odd appearance with contrasting old and new planks. Users complain about the irregular surface, and many have indicated that they prefer walking on the asphalt area between the promenade and the curb where it is smoother. Options for deck replacement include precast concrete planks, fiber-reinforced plastic decking or another type of synthetic material.
• Central Marina – This section is a concrete boardwalk, and there are a number of access and design character challenges that relate to walkway constriction and inconsistent materials.
• South Marina – This section is characterized by the narrower walkway confined by security fencing and railings on either side in certain areas. There are also issues with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, and the existing wooden top rails present a maintenance challenge.
Mr. McCormick noted that fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) decking is used on the bridge to Marina Beach Park. Ms. Drennan pointed out that dogs do not like that surface. Mr. McCormick agreed that can be a problem, but in the Port’s segment, the walkway would be over the riprap rather than up in the air so you would not be able to see below the grates like you can on the beach. In addition, the gaps between planks could be narrower. He agreed this is an issue that the project designer would need to address.
Commissioner Faires observed that there are financial constraints associated with implementation of the plan. While replacing the boardwalk with a more durable material is a high priority, it will be costly. He questioned if it would be better for the Port to focus on implementing elements of the plan that can be funded and accomplished over the next few years as opposed to total replacement of the boardwalk. Mr. Bengford agreed that the Port could prioritize implementation using a phased strategy, but it must be recognized that many of the elements in the plan are interconnected and it would be difficult to do one without the other (i.e. boardwalk, railings, lighting and gates).
Dean Nichols, tenant and Port District resident, observed that the cost estimate for replacing the north boardwalk with precast concrete decking is between $450,000 and $750,000, and using the FRP decking would cost closer to $4 million. Mr. McCormick said the cost estimates assume that the substructure and pilings will not have to be replaced and does not take into account that an upland substructure may be needed to support a concrete boardwalk. A survey will be needed to identify a more accurate cost estimate, but that goes beyond the scope of the current contract. Mr. Nichols summarized that the fiber-enforced plastic decking would be a more expensive option than the precast concrete planks, and Mr. McCormick concurred.
Mr. Olsen asked if there are significant maintenance differences between the FRP decking and precast concrete materials. He said he would support either one. Ms. Williams replied that the Port’s Maintenance Manager has indicated support for pursuing either surface option. It was noted that the FRP decking on the bridge has been in place for over 20 years and has held up nicely.
Mr. McCormick advised that there are currently a variety of railing types and states of repair throughout the promenade. The plan proposes a continuous treatment throughout the extent of the walkway to reduce the level of necessary ongoing maintenance for the railings and to enable the integration of lighting. It would also provide a more cohesive look and unify the marina both physically and visually. The existing railings in the north and south ends of the marina have timber on the top with galvanized steel infill panels. However, the posts in the north end are wood and the posts in the south end are galvanized steel. The railings in the central marina have painted wood on the top, which is very problematic in terms of maintenance. He shared three potential alternatives that each would continue the existing style of cantilevered railings on top. The first option would lighten the look of the railings by adding a wire mesh product. The second option would use vertical slats of galvanized steel, and the third would utilize the existing metal posts but use lighter infill panels and a more durable railing material.
Commissioner Faires asked if any of the survey respondents or the consultants indicated a preference for the railings to be left natural or painted. Mr. McChesney responded that painting is labor intensive and difficult to do over water. Mr. Bengford advised that many indicated a preference for the existing natural wood, but it is important to note that some of the existing wood railings have been upgraded and some have not. The older wood railings do not look as nice and people have gotten splinters from them. A synthetic surface would be lower maintenance and provide more color. Commissioner Preston asked if it would be advisable to lower the cost by replacing the railing in the central and north marinas with a synthetic material, but leaving the existing railing in the south marina. Mr. Bengford agreed that is possible.
Mr. McCormick said there is also a desire to incorporate lighting into the walkway and/or railing and eliminate the light poles that clutter the environment. He reviewed that the current lighting elements do not allow for the full usage of the site, and Edmonds residents and guests would be able to better utilize and enjoy the space into the evening and even in the afternoons during the dark winter months if the consistency and quality of lighting was improved throughout the marina. Examples of potential options include linear LED lighting tucked up under the top railing or lighting incorporated into the posts.
Commissioner Orvis voiced concern that incorporating lighting into the existing posts would leave dark spaces along the walkway. Mr. Bengford pointed out that, currently, the posts are located less than 8 feet apart, and putting spot lighting in every post would result in adequate lighting for safety. He expressed his belief that removing the overhead lights would be a great improvement, as the lights would no longer glare into pedestrians’ eyes and people would be able to enjoy a better view out towards the water.
Commissioner Faires observed that the plan proposes a variety of more modern elements. He said there seems to be a dichotomy between those that prefer the rough, weathered look of the existing marina and those that would like to have a more modern appearance. Mr. McCormick agreed that many people indicated they like the marina the way it is, and they particularly like the rustic quality of the weathered wood. Ms. Bush suggested that this issue could be addressed by taking a more modern approach, but also being very cautious of material choices. It makes sense to include as much wood as can be maintained in a smart way to retain the same feel of the space. However, the railings and deck are not a smart place to use wood. Mr. McCormick suggested that they could replicate the wood top railing with a similar quality of synthetic material.
Mr. McCormick reviewed that, currently, signage is scattered throughout the marina with signs strapped to light posts and to the top railings along the promenade. It is fragmented and rather incohesive. The plan suggests that a system of minimal horizontal and vertical sign panel elements could be integrated into the proposed design elements to reduce visual clutter, provide better wayfinding and minimize the reduction of clear space along the promenade. For example, horizontal signs could be attached to the cantilevered top railing and vertical signs could be attached to the top of the railing posts.
Ms. Bush said the plan calls for the existing concrete planters to be replaced with synthetic planters that have a wood appearance similar to the railings that are proposed in the plan. Commissioner Faires asked if the planters could be replaced independent of the railing replacement, and Ms. Bush answered yes. She referred to the restricted area in the south marina between the dry dock and the water and said the plan calls for a nicer fence along the dry dock. Currently, there is very little differentiation between the areas for cars and people, and the planters can be used to create a more defined and safer pedestrian area.
Ms. Bush advised that integrating art throughout the marina is a great way to encourage interaction with the space and to bring unique aesthetic improvements to the area. The plan calls for the integration of art into the elements discussed in the plan. For example, the pavilion, railings, lighting, seating elements or planters could be art pieces themselves while not further cluttering this constricted area. She recommended a separate process to create a call for artists aimed at key features of the site. This would be an excellent way to encourage community involvement in design decisions and an opportunity to highlight the culture of Edmonds.
Mr. McCormick said the plan also calls for updating the existing security gates, which are not very friendly. He shared a number of examples for gate design, noting that people prefer a design that is more open and inviting. Mr. Bengford noted that this was a high priority in the survey, but it is also a costly project. Commissioner Faires said he prefers a design that is more open, recognizing that it might also require more maintenance. Commissioner Harris asked if replacing the gates would also include converting to a keycard system, and McCormick answered affirmatively. Commissioner Preston suggested that perhaps the gates in the north marina could be pushed towards the water so they do not project as far into the walkway. Mr. McCormick agreed that space is constricted in the north end and the gates project into more than half the width of the walkway. Commissioner Faires cautioned against a design that would require the ramps to be moved further out. Mr. McCormick agreed that this design problem needs more consideration, and he doesn’t know what the best solution will be. Creating bump outs, like those in the south marina, will be a costly solution. Dean Nichols commented that if the Port replaces the gates, the project should be designed to free up space on the walkway.
Mr. McCormick commented that the existing trash and recycling enclosures in the parking lots work well. However, their appearance could be improved by updating the materials to create a cohesive look. Ms. Williams pointed out that one of the trash and recycling enclosures is still on the walkway and will need to be relocated to the parking area. Commissioner Faires asked how many parking spaces would be lost as a result of the relocation, and Ms. Williams answered it would likely eliminate two spaces.
Mr. McCormick briefly reviewed the cost estimates contained in the plan, noting that they are hard costs and do not include construction contingencies or soft costs associated with design, demolition, permitting, etc. However, he believes the high-end numbers are realistic.
Ms. Williams summarized that after the consultants have completed their finishing touches, the plan will serve as a baseline plan to help the Commission make decisions and prioritize projects moving forward.
Mr. Nichols asked how much funding is identified in the draft 2020 budget to implement the Public Access Plan, and Ms. Drennan answered that the current allocation is $50,000. Commissioner Faires clarified that is the amount of money currently available for implementation. Commissioner Orvis clarified that, $50,000 is a good place to start, recognizing that additional funding can be added in the future as appropriate. The first step will be to lay out an implementation strategy based on available funding. Commissioner Faires cautioned against mixing the marina funds with the money that comes available from paying off the Harbor Square loan.
Mr. McChesney commended the consultants for their nicely-done plan and said he enjoyed working with them.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 19-03, ESTABLISHING THE AMOUNT OF TAX TO BE LEVIED
Ms. Drennan recalled that the Commission reviewed the 2020 Tax Levy needs on August 26th, October 14th and October 28th. She explained that the Port may levy a property tax of $583,644.01, which is the Port’s 2020 highest lawful levy, plus the estimated amount of new construction, less the estimated refunds. The Tax Levy for 2019 was set at $400,000, and Tax Levy for 2020 will be the same. The proposed mil rate for 2020 is $0.061. She recommended the Commission approve Resolution No. 19-03 as presented.
COMMISSIONER HARRIS MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE RESOLUTION NO. 19-03, ESTABLISHING THE AMOUNT OF TAX TO BE LEVIED IN 2020 IN THE AMOUNT OF $400,000. COMMISSIONER FAIRES SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 19-04, BANKING EXCESS LEVY CAPACITY FOR 2020
Ms. Drennan reviewed that, each year, the Commission has approved a resolution that banks the Port’s excess levy capacity. The resolution will enable the total levy amount to grow by 1% without assessing the full amount in case a greater tax levy is needed at some point in the future. She recommended the Commission approve the resolution as presented.
COMMISSIONER FAIRES MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE RESOLUTION 19-04, BANKING EXCESS LEVY CAPACITY FOR 2020. COMMISSIONER PRESTON SECONDED THE MOTION.
Commissioner Orvis commented that the resolution would not levy an additional tax at this time, but not preserving the option to do so at some point in the future would be irresponsible.
THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 19-05, ADOPTING THE 2020 BUDGET
Ms. Drennan revised that the Commission discussed the draft 2020 Budget on August 26th, October 14th and October 28th. Approval of the resolution will approve the 2020 budget, including the rate schedule and everything else in the budget package. She recommended the Commission approve the resolution as presented.
COMMISSIONER FAIRES MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE RESOLUTION NO. 19-05, ADOPTING THE 2020 BUDGET. COMMISSIONER PRESTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
AUTHORIZATION TO PROCEED WITH WIRE TRANSFER PAYMENTS
Ms. Drennan reviewed that, on August 26th, the Commission authorized staff to proceed with purchasing a Marine Travelift BFM II and to initiate a wire deposit of 25% of the total cost as a down payment for the order. The contract also requires the Port to submit a payment of 55% of the total cost prior to shipping, and the remaining payment (20%) will be made at the time of delivery and acceptance. She recommended the Commission authorize the 55% and 20% wire transfers as per the contract.
COMMISSIONER PRESTON MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE PORT STAFF TO INITIATE TWO WIRE TRANSFERS, THE TOTAL OF WHICH SHALL NOT EXCEEDD $342,000. WIRE TRANSFER #1 SHALL BE INITIATED TEN DAYS PRIOR TO SHIPPING THE TRAVELIFT, AND WIRE TRANSFER #2, AS NEGOTIATED WITH THE TRADE-IN VALUE OF THE 2001 TRAVELIFT, UPON DELIVERY AND ACCEPTANCE BY THE FACILITIES MAINTENANCE MANAGER. COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 19-06, DECLARING TRAVELIFT SURPLUS AND AUTHORIZING ITS SALE
Ms. Drennan explained that government agencies are required to sell surplus equipment at fair market value, which is typically determined by auctioning the item or obtaining an estimate from an independent third party. Because the Travelift is a specialized piece of equipment for hauling boats and the number of potential facilities requiring a Travelift is limited, generating sufficient interest to obtain a good price will be difficult. The Travelift broker, Kendrick Equipment, has offered the Port $50,000 to trade in the Port’s Travelift purchased in 2001. Port staff contacted James G. Murphy, asking for an auction price estimate, and learned that the conservative range would be $20,000 to $45,000. After sales commissions of 15%, the Port would net $17,000 to $38,250. In addition, staff would have to coordinate and perhaps assist in deconstructing the Travelift and preparing it for shipment. She recommended the Commission approve the resolution as presented.
COMMISSIONER FAIRES MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE RESOLUTION NO. 19-06, DECLARING THE TRAVELIFT SURPLUS AND AUTHORIZING ITS SALE AS A TRADE-IN TO KENDRICK EQUIPMENT. COMMISSIONER PRESTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION NO. 19-07, DECLARING HOIST FORKLIFT SURPLUS AND AUTHORIZING ITS SALE
Ms. Drennan reviewed that on March 11th, the Commission authorized staff to purchase a new Wiggins forklift, which was delivered and placed in service in July. The Facilities Maintenance Manager requested that the Port hold onto the Hoist Neptune forklift while he took the Taylor forklift out of service for major repairs. The Taylor forklift is now back in service and the Facilities Maintenance Manager has recommended the Port surplus the Hoist Neptune forklift. The intent is to offer the forklift for sale on an online auction site. It has a remaining net book value of $20,047. Depending on the sales price, the Port will experience a net gain or a net loss. She recommended the Commission approve the resolution as presented.
COMMISSIONER HARRIS MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE RESOLUTION NO. 19-07, DECLARING THE HOIST NEPTUNE M200 MARINE FORKLIFT SURPLUS AND AUTHORIZING ITS SALE. COMMISSIONER PRESTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
3RD QUARTER 2019 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Ms. Drennan presented the 3rd Quarter Financial Statements, noting that revenues and expenses and net income are all trending upwards. Actual revenues were $508,000 greater than budget, and actual expenses were $151,000 less than budget. Gross profit for the 9-month period ending September 30th was $6,433,000, which was $169,000 greater than budget. Net income for the same period was $2,273,000. Highlights include:
Marina Operations Revenue Actual to Budget
• Net Fuel Sales were $222,000, which was $12,000 less than budget.
• Miscellaneous revenue was $98,000 or $34,000 greater than budget.
• Guest moorage revenue was $162,000 or $25,000 greater than budget
• Permanent Moorage revenues were $2,756,000, or $37,000 greater than budget.
• Dry Storage revenue was $598,000 or $45,000 greater than budget.
• Parking revenue was $85,000 or $29,000 greater than budget.
• Travelift revenue was $113,000 or $23,000 greater than budget.
• Workyard revenue was $96,000 or $15,000 greater than budget.
• Financial occupancy for permanent moorage was 98%, which is consistent with the previous four years. Financial occupancy for dry storage was 94%, which is the same as 2018 and slightly higher than 2017.
Commissioner Preston requested examples of miscellaneous revenues and expenses, and Ms. Drennan answered that it includes City of Edmonds stormwater reimbursements, towing boats, dock amenities, and anything else that doesn’t fit into the other categories.
Rental Properties Revenue Actual to Budget
• Harbor Square revenue was $1,594,000 or $14,000 greater than budget.
• Anthony’s revenue was $170,000 or $50,000 less than budget, but this is due to a timing issue because the annual payment didn’t come in September.
Operating Expenses Actual to Budget
• Operating expenses before depreciation for the 9-month period were $3,638,000, which was $245,000 or 6% less than budget.
• Employee benefits were $556,000 or about $11,000 greater than budget.
• Office expenses were $54,000 or $11,000 less than budget.
• Professional fees were $101,000 or $204,000 less than budget.
• Repair and Maintenance expenses were $330,000 or $43,000 greater than budget.
• Supplies were $190,000 or $150,000 less than budget.
• Depreciation was $1,075,000 or $132,000 less than budget.
Commissioner Faires said he is not surprised that maintenance and repair expenses exceeded budget. As the facility ages, he expects these costs to increase.
Mr. McChesney asked if the cost of the recent project at the corner of Dayton Avenue and SR-104 was expensed or capitalized. Ms. Drennan answered that it was expensed in the “supplies” budget.
• Interest income was $259,000 or $100,000 greater than budget.
• The change in the fair market value of investments was $11,000. She doesn’t budget for this because she doesn’t know what the market will do.
• Net income for the 9-months ending September 30th was $2,273,000 or $658,000 greater than budget.
Marina Actual to Budget
• Operating revenues were $5,261,000 or $409,000 greater than budget.
• Operating expenses before depreciation and overhead were $3,042,000 or $307,000 greater than budget.
• Net income was $1,229,000 or $467,000 greater than budget.
Rental Property Actual to Budget
• Operating revenues were $2052,000 or $39,000 less than budget.
• Operating expenses before depreciation and overhead were $493,000 or $4,000 greater than budget.
• Net income was $1,044,000 or $140,000 greater than budget.
Ms. Drennan reviewed the investing summary, noting that the Port has 19 long-term investments, and bonds are getting called more frequently as the rates are decreasing. She reported that she recently analyzed the Ports’ liquid fund because she felt there was too much cash and they needed to invest more. Currently, there is about $9 million in liquid funds and she believes the Port can invest an additional $6 million and still maintain the liquid funds at $3 million. The highest month of expenses, without any income, was $1.1 million, so maintaining $3 million will provide some cushion. Continuing with the laddering program, money would come due each quarter. Each time liquid funds reach $3.5 million, she will invest $500,000. As investments come due, she will make sure there are sufficient liquid funds for anticipated projects, as well.
Commissioner Harris asked if this new program would impact the Port’s ability to fund large projects, and Commissioner Orvis answered no because there is money coming due all the time based on the ladder approach for investing. Commissioner Faires expressed his belief that a $3 million liquid fund was fairly conservative.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. McChesney announced that the Edmonds Planning Board will conduct a study session on November 13th on a proposal put forward by the Economic Development Commission to modify the Waterfront Commercial zone to allow lodging. From the Port’s point of view, he would recommend support of the proposal. Commissioner Orvis clarified that the proposal would only apply to properties west of the railroad tracks, which doesn’t affect Harbor Square. Mr. McChesney concurred but added that it would be in the Port’s best long-term interest to have as many redevelopment options as possible, and the community has indicated an interest in having more lodging. The Port does have some buildings that could be reconditioned for hotel uses at some point in the future.
Mr. McChesney advised that building permit applications have been submitted to the City of Edmonds for the Harbor Square Building 3 Project, and the anticipated turnaround time is 7 to 8 weeks. Staff is currently working with the Snohomish County Public Utility District to identify potential rebates and incentives, and they have thus far offered about $15,000 worth of energy savings and rebates. However, it has been determined that including a solar installation as part of the project would not pencil out. While this is discouraging, it doesn’t mean it won’t be more feasible in the future. Commissioner Harris said it was determined that a solar installation would be unfeasible from both a financial and locational standpoint. Commissioner Faires said he would like to see what amount of financial subsidy would be required if the Port were to install solar on the building now.
COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Johnston announced that on November 20th, he will judge the statewide American Council of Engineering Companies’ annual environmental and engineering projects. He also announced that he would attend the Washington Public Port Association’s (WPPA) Annual Meeting in Tacoma.
Commissioner Preston requested an update on the crosswalk project, and Mr. McChesney advised that they are currently working to construct forms and pour the concrete needed for the project. He reminded the Commissioners that the Port has no control over the project’s timing.
Commissioner Preston commended staff (Ms. Michaud, Ms. Ebel, and Ms. Williams) for preparing the Port’s entry in the Edmonds South Snohomish County Historical Society’s Scarecrow Contest. The scarecrow, “Edmond Fisher” was awarded the Best Historic Edmonds Depiction.
Commissioner Harris announced she would attend the WPPA Annual Meeting, and Commissioner Orvis indicated he would attend, as well. He said he also plans to attend the Environmental Committee meeting on Wednesday.
Commissioner Harris announced that she was invited to attend a Snohomish County Climate Alliance meeting on November 20th but will be unavailable. She plans to attend one of their future meetings instead.
Commissioner Orvis commented that, now that the Public Access Plan is finished, but Commission needs to be serious about laying out a plan for implementation, starting with the low hanging fruit as soon as possible.
Commissioner Orvis referred to an email the Commissioners received from Darrol Haug with some recommendations for the Commission to consider. He also referred the Commissioners to the WPPA’s 2020 Budget.
Commissioner Orvis reported on his attendance at the Sound Transit Open House where he learned no parking garage is recommended because it would be too expensive for little gain. On the other hand, one of the parking proposals is to use the City-owned property at the intersection of Dayton Street and 2nd Avenue. The property is currently used by several art entities, and they have voiced opposition its use for anything other than art. The property is currently developed with an unused public works facility and has long been one of the sites considered for public parking. Mr. McChesney advised that he participates on the Interagency Committee that is looking at options for parking, and locating parking on this site would be a win for the City. Commissioner Orvis voiced concern that the focus is too heavy on bicycle trails rather than parking and other ideas for increasing Sounder Ridership.
Commissioner Orvis reported that he attended the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County’s (EASC) Business After Hours Event at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. There was good attendance, and the majority came from outside of Edmonds. Tours of the center were provided as part of the event. Commissioner Harris said she also attended the event.
Commissioner Orvis announced that the EASC will be appointing new board members, and he has been nominated to serve again in 2020. The appointments will be confirmed at the next meeting.
Commissioner Orvis announced that he would attend the WPPA’s Legislative Committee meeting on November 14th, and the purpose of the meeting is to wrap up the proposal that will be presented at the annual meeting. He said he was also invited to serve on a panel at the new Commissioners Seminar on Tuesday before the WPPA Annual Meeting.
Commissioner Orvis commented that recent actions lead him to believe that too many government bodies look at the budget from a “look at those dollars, where can we spend them” lens. Looking to the future, he said he believes they too often are investing in infrastructure or projects that will eventually fall into neglect due to lack of maintenance and replacement funds or in favor of some shiny new project. He said he is committed to the plan the Port Commission has instituted where they look to maintain the Port facilities, improving them when needed, but primarily ensuring they will be available to future generations. This approach dictates that the Commission set aside money when possible, increase taxes only when absolutely required, and only expend after systematically considering a project’s contribution to the future sustainability of the Port and community or in response to an urgent public need. He acknowledges the people will continue to press the Port Commission to fund projects, but their focus must remain on the priorities that have already been identified.
The Commission meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
Angela Harris. Port Commission Secretary