16 Dec Commission Meeting Minutes 11-30-20
PORT COMMISSION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS MINUTES OF MEETING
(Via Zoom) November 30, 2020
Jim Orvis, President
Angela Harris, Vice President
David Preston, Secretary
Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Brandon Baker, Marina Manager
Tina Drennan, Finance Manager
Bradford Cattle, Port Attorney
CALL TO ORDER
President Orvis called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
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 NOVEMBER 9, 2020 MEETING MINUTES, AS PRESENTED.
C. APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $1,574,491.05
COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mr. McChesney noted that Council Member Susan Paine has asked to be excused from the meeting.
There were no public comments.
CONTINUATION OF RESOLUTION NO. 20-03 DECLARING LOCAL EMERGENCY AND DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
Mr. McChesney explained that the purpose of the resolution was to provide some emergency authority to the Executive Director during the pandemic. He reported that he hasn’t taken any specific emergency actions. However, the Governor’s recent shut down had a significant impact on some tenants. There has been one 6-month deferral with payback by the end of 2022. There have also been two extensions. In addition, the Port has given Anthony’s permission to use to the plaza area to put up a large tent that allows them to provide some dining service to their customers.
Commissioner Faires asked if the action Mr. McChesney took relative to Anthony’s using the public plaza could have been done under his delegation of authority. Mr. McChesney answered affirmatively. Because these actions were directly related to the pandemic, he felt it was appropriate to report to the Commission.
2021 SLATE OF OFFICERS – PRELIMINARY
Commissioner Orvis proposed that the 2021 Port Commission Officers be as follows: Commissioner Harris as President, Commissioner Preston as Vice President, and Commissioner Johnston as Secretary. Unless any of the Commissioners had an objection, he said this slate of officers would be presented on the December 14th Consent Agenda for final approval. The intent is that the new officers would assume their duties on January 1st. There were no objections, and Commissioner Orvis directed staff to add the proposed slate of officers to the December 14th Consent Agenda.
PROJECTS AND OPEN DISCUSSION
Mr. McChesney said staff has been meeting with the Public Access Committee on the North Promenade and Seawall Replacement Project. Three consultants are currently in the process of developing scopes of work and their respective budgets. The lead consultant will be CG Engineering, a local structural and civil engineering firm. Landau Associates will assume the task of planning and permitting, and Makers will do the architectural work. He anticipates that the contracts will be ready for Commission approval in January. The project will be a long-term, complicated process, and it is important to get started as soon as possible.
Mr. McChesney advised that, as they come to understand the project more, the big concern will likely be constructability and access to the job site. It is anticipated that most of the work will be done from the land side, and bringing in heavy equipment through the marina will be a daunting task that results in significant disruption.
Commissioner Preston said tenant accessibility is another issue that must be considered. Security to the docks will also be a concern. Mr. McChesney said he believes these concerns can be managed once they have a construction plan in place. He anticipates that the project will be done sections at a time to avoid a complete shutdown. They will likely have to use all of guest moorage to accommodate boats that are misplaced during construction, and this will result in a loss of revenue. He concluded that, in addition to constructability and access, another important priority will be safety for the workers, Port staff, tenants and the general public (pedestrians).
Commissioner Orvis encouraged the Commissioners to voice their thoughts and concerns related to the project early so they can be taken into consideration during the planning process. For example, it might be more economical to do other projects that have been identified for the future in conjunction with this project. They also need to consider potential financing options. He reminded them that the Commission has been successful in the past by looking ahead and identifying issues before they become significant problems.
Commissioner Faires agreed that safety should be a major focus, particularly pedestrian safety. He felt that Mr. McChesney’s pre-occupation with pedestrian safety is appropriate, and it may even be necessary to station a staff person at the construction site to keep pedestrians out of the work areas. Commissioner Orvis agreed and noted that the construction area would need to be fenced off. He pointed out that the construction crew at the Waterfront Center did a great job. When the construction area was fenced, they also laid out paths and diversions.
Commissioner Orvis commented that, because the construction site would need to be fenced off, Commissioner Preston’s concern about tenant access will be an important thing to consider. They will need to have a plan in place for how to move the fences in a way that still allows the tenants access to their boats. He recalled that the Port has had to relocate tenants for other less-major projects, and moving them to Guest Moorage appeared to be the best way to take care of the tenants and keep things safe. This time they may need to look for more moorage space, or even dry storage space, to accommodate the misplaced boats.
Commissioner Preston recalled that when the marina was reconstructed after the snow storm caused its collapse, one of the Commissioners took specific responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day construction. He suggested that perhaps this project would benefit from that approach, too. Commissioner Orvis agreed and noted that, during the Harbor Square cleanup project, he was present nearly every day. He said he anticipates that the Executive Director and other Port staff will also pay close attention throughout the project. He recalled that the Senior Center hired someone to specifically provide project oversight.
Commissioner Johnston recalled that, during the cleanup of Harbor Square, there was one, and sometimes two, people monitoring the project. They commented that, even though the public was well separated from the construction site by a chain-link fence, they spent a lot of time answering questions about the project. He suggested they consider beefing up their communication plan to provide project information to the public so the workers don’t end up being information officers. Commissioner Orvis observed that a large sign was placed at the Community Center Project site to provide information to the public.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. McChesney did not have any additional items to report.
COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Harris announced that she would participate in the Washington Public Port Association (WPPA) Annual Meeting on December 2nd through 4th. Commissioners Preston and Johnston indicated they would participate, as well.
Commissioner Harris advised that she will be reviewing committee assignments over the next few weeks and will reach out to each Commissioner for feedback.
Commissioner Johnston reported that he participated in the WPPA Tax Increment Financing Workshop. While it is an interesting proposition, it won’t have any short-term implications for the Port of Edmonds.
Commissioner Johnston said he participated in the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County’s (EASCs) Coffee with Captain Michael Davis, Commanding Officer of Naval Station Everett, which was very interesting. The big take away is that the Navy, the City of Everett and the surrounding communities have a very warm relationship. He was impressed with the amount of support the base gets. It was announced that there will never be a carrier in Everett again, but they will get two more destroyers for a total of seven.
Commissioner Johnston announced that he was invited, once again, to be a judge for the Environmental and Engineering Excellence Awards for the State of Washington. He is hoping there will be some port projects this time. He suggested that next year would be a great opportunity for the Port to flesh out and submit the stormwater innovative practices. He said he would work with Mr. McChesney and Ms. Williams on this effort.
Commissioner Orvis announced that he would participate in the WPPA Board of Trustees Meeting, where the WPPA’s legislative priorities will be discussed. The list is quite conservative and includes tax increment financing, broadband, transportation, etc. The biggest question is how the WPPA lobbyists will perform their work during the pandemic.
The Commission meeting was adjourned at 7:32 p.m.
David Preston, Port Commission Secretary