16 Jun Commission Meeting Minutes 6-1-2021
PORT COMMISSION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
(Via Zoom) June 1, 2021
Angela Harris, President
David Preston, Vice President
Steve Johnston, Secretary
Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Brandon Baker, Marina Manager
Tina Drennan, Finance Manager
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.
President Harris announced that the Commission would have an executive session at the end of the regular meeting.
COMMISSIONER FAIRES MOVED THAT THE CONSENT AGENDA BE APPROVED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
B. APPROVAL OF MAY 10, 2021 MEETING MINUTES AND MAY 12, 2021 RETREAT MEETING MINUTES.
C. APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $622,225.28
D. APPROVAL OF USCG SAFE BOATING WEEK EVENT
COMMISSIONER ORVIS SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mr. John Bennett from the Corinthian Yacht Club introduced himself and then introduced current Commodore David Odendahl. Mr. Bennett said that they were here to say “hi” and introduce themselves to the Commissioners and staff.
Bob McChesney and Brandon Baker introduced Mr. Kevin Coulombe, who serves in the USCG Auxiliary as the Flotilla Commander. Mr. Coulombe has been a resident of Edmonds for 20 years, Port tenant for a year, and serving in the USCG Auxiliary for 10 years.
Mr. Kevin Coulombe thanked the Port for the moorage space during the Boating Safety Week Event, which is one of the very important missions of the USCG. The USCG Auxiliary was created in 1939 by an act of Congress. Its purpose is to step in to take over the Coast Guard’s public safety on the water mission when the Coast Guard was called to serve overseas. They have been doing that mission ever since. Mr. Coulombe reported that last week was Boating Safety Week and they had an excellent program/event assembled with Mr. Baker’s help. Most activities that the Flotilla conducts in Edmonds are with private vessel owners. Mr. Coulombe stated that one of the more prominent members of the Port and the Flotilla is Chuck Olson. He has been an active member of the Flotilla for over 40 years and still conducts missions and trainings. Mr. Coulombe reported that they brought their boat, the Salish Guardian, to display for public, show their flag, and conduct vessel examinations upon request. He said that they had brochures available and educated the public about the use of life jackets. Mr. Coulombe reminded everyone that May 21st was wear your life jacket to work day, and that day kicked off the Boating Safety Week. Mr. Coulombe reported that it was great to see that people were wearing life jackets and following safety guidelines. Mr. Coulombe shared a picture of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s boat. All of their missions are voluntary and most of their volunteers are retired. Their mission is to keep people safe when boating.
CONTINUATION OF RESOLUTION NO. 20-03 DECLARING LOCAL EMERGENCY AND DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
Mr. McChesney reported that he hasn’t taken any action under the emergency authority.
ADMINISTRATION AND MAINTENANCE BUILDING PROJECT
Mr. McChesney summarized that the project is moving right along. He stated that we have talked about LEEDs Certification many times over the last few months and our Retreat a few weeks ago. Katerina Prochaska with Jackson Main is here tonight to help us further the discussion and fill in some of the information gaps that still remain. The idea is to come up with a decision as to how to pursue LEEDs, what level LEEDs to pursue, the value proposition and come to an agreement of how we should proceed. We shall soon be into our final design so we need to decide if LEEDs is the right path.
Katerina Prochaska, Jackson Main stated that she and Meghan Craig are here to talk about 3 topics: Solar Array, LEEDs Certification and Incentives and to answer any questions that the Port Commissioners and staff may have.
Ms. Prochaska reported that the solar array calculations show 50 BTU’s per sq ft per year and their KW array will produce 10% of the power and will cover about 2,000 square feet. It is approximately $80,000 rough cost for the array.
Ms. Craig stated that for another client, with a similar sized building and an array of 2,000 square feet, it is a savings of about $4,000 per year. Commissioner Preston asked for hard number costs and differences in costs for the electricity for the building.
Commissioner Orvis stated that he has heard from WPPA meetings that wind power is more effective in this area than solar power. Ms. Prochaska replied that this area (the NW) has enough brightness even on cloudy days to provide enough sun for solar power.
Mr. McChesney has reached out to the Public Utilities District and Harbor Power Engineers and has had conversations with them concerning our electricity choices. Mr. McChesney is planning to follow up with them. Ms. Prochaska reminded the Commissioners that if we choose to go with solar, it will benefit the LEEDs certification, adding 6 points, and it would push the effort from base certified to LEEDs silver. It’s also under the WA State Energy Code, one of the credits for energy that is a requirement for the code. For most projects the solar array covers a percentage of the overall energy , but not enough to cover the full building costs.
Mr. McChesney remarked that solar has always been part of the design concept and we never anticipated that we could be totally off grid. The question is how solar works with LEEDs and solar incentives. What is the value of LEEDs, what does LEEDs get you overall?
Ms. Prochaska responded that you cannot follow WA State Energy Code and have enough points to meet LEEDs Certification. The Washington State Energy Code centers around energy but LEEDs covers energy, water usage, the site is used, and other aspects. In Washington state you are a lot of the way there as opposed to other states.
Mr. McChesney asked about information provided at the Retreat by Richard Manning. He thought that we could be 5 points shy from LEEDs silver with Washington State Energy Codes with the checklist.
Ms. Prochaska replied that we couldn’t get that close to LEEDs certified without working with LEEDs.
Ms Prochaska announced that the energy model that PUD offers is a first step model that is not something that is LEEDs certified or Washington State Energy Code certified. It is a free service that is supplied by a 3rd party vendor. It is an incentive, but not helpful on the LEED’s points certification. Another incentive is that if we can prove through that energy model that the building is 10% or 20% more energy efficient over code, then the price charged per kilowatt hour will be reduced.
There is also an incentive for charging stations.
Commissioner Johnston asked about the $80,000 solar panels. He wondered if the cost included installing the solar array or is it the raw cost. Ms. Prochaska confirmed that it is the cost of the solar array and installation, but not preparing the roof structure to support the solar array or incentives. Commissioner Johnston stated that his rough calculations show that the difference between building to code and LEEDs is between $100,000 and $300,000.
LEEDs silver would be a good target and lower end.
Ms. Tina Drennan requested clarification: is the cost of the solar array of $167,665 presented in the chart just for the solar panels, or does it include the additional substructure, LEEDs certification, and installation. Katerina replied that doesn’t include installation or engineering, but it does include LEEDs.
Commissioner Orvis stated that he did research this last week trying to find actual costs. He stated that he found costs on permitting, and he found costs charged by the LEEDs organization for various things, but some of the things are very hard to quantify, such as the certifying of materials, the layers of costs that come from various organizations that have to make certifications, and the tons of paper that has to be generated and certified. He said that it seems like a squishy thing: how much does it cost you to go through the process as compared to what you got for the process? Commissioner Orvis reported that he came up with $100,000 to $150,000 extra for administrative and certification and in some cases some certain materials have to be used. The soft costs drive the program costs higher.
Ms. Prochaska said that she wishes that there was better information out there after 15 years of LEEDs as a program out there. The comparisons are hard to find.
Commissioner Preston asked of all the buildings built with LEEDs certification, what percentage of the buildings are publicly owned vs privately owned? He wondered why they don’t provide the cost difference.
Ms. Prochaska replied that she maybe worded it incorrectly. Owners they start one way and follow the path that fits them.
She did not know what percentage is public vs private, but LEEDs certification is required for Federal and Washington State buildings. The mandate is LEEDs silver.
Commissioner Harris commented that the Port of Vancouver builds to LEEDs silver and are now moving to LEEDs gold. At the time that they were built, silver tied closely into current building codes but now they are moving to gold and pushing on.
Commissioner Faires is wondering if we have a consensus for solar?
Mr. McChesney stated that is sounds like it would be economical and feasible to do solar and the LEEDs silver path.
Ms. Prochaska reiterated that it’s basically an incremental 3 ½% cost for the LEEDs silver building. It uses less energy, uses less water, and has lower operational costs. You will have a 3rd party to make sure that it has been designed and installed correctly, and that it’s performing the way that it should. Many occupants say that it’s better for the well-being and health of the occupants. You have a building that you can say meets the Port’s sustainability goals. If you are interested in solar, you need to plan for it now, not try to add it later.
Commissioner Faires questioned if all of the commissioners are on board for solar. All of the commissioners confirmed that they support solar.
Mr. McChesney asked where we are on charging stations. The commissioners replied that we do need to put some of those in there at the beginning.
Commissioner Faires questioned if we need to spend money on the actual LEEDs certification. He thinks that we would have enough points to qualify anyway. Should we spend the money on certification?
Commissioner Harris does want to try for LEEDs.
Commissioner Preston stated that he wouldn’t mind going for the certification, but are we going for the plaque on the wall or a better, efficient building? What if we build a better building than silver but don’t get the plaque? Commissioner Johnston stated that he’s heard that the actual consultation and certification are not that expensive. It’s everything leading up to that certification.
Commissioner Faires then commented that we as public servants need to think about leadership and why the government, both federal and state both mandate that new buildings need to be built LEEDs silver certified. He believes that we should show leadership.
Ms. Prochaska said that costs will come to light as the project moves along, so decisions can be made along the way as different costs come up.
Commissioner Preston is wondering is the codes are up high enough so we don’t need to have LEEDs. Mr. McChesney asked if the 3 ½% incremental LEEDs cost for silver is worth it. He thinks that it is to try for silver.
All Commissioners agreed.
Commissioner Harris would like us to try for gold certification if possible. Commissioner Preston and Faires would like more cost information .
Katrina said that she will inform the design team that there is a desire to achieve gold LEEDs certification.
Bob McChesney asked Commissioner Harris if she wanted to have a motion and a vote and include the companion to LEEDs which is the Save Salmon Design.
Brad Cattle recommended a motion with respect to LEEDs and if it affects the design direction, you should include that too.
COMMISSIONER ORVIS MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO INSTRUCT THE DESIGN TEAM TO DESIGN TOWARD ATTAINING LEEDS SILVER WITH ASPIRATIONS OF GOLD IF IT IS FEASIBLE FOR THE NEW PORT HEADQUARTERS BUILDING, AND IN ADDITION THAT THE DESIGN INCLUDE THE ASPECTS NECESSARY FOR THE SAVE SALMON PROGRAM.
COMMISSIONER PRESTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Commissioner Harris stated that she will speak with the City Council member Buckschnis and that we may not need the safe salmon aspect. She will keep us posted.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. McChesney reminded the Commission that we are going to the design review board at 7:00pm on June 2nd. It is a major milestone in the Administration Building design project and once we get approval from the Design Approval Review Board we will get into the final designs and we can start turning into a reality and moving forward. If you would like to Zoom in, please do. The City of Edmonds planning department fully recommends this project to the Review Board, so he doesn’t expect any issues.
COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Preston reported that he attended the Washington Public Port Association’s (WPPA) Spring Meeting.
The Zoom meetings are working well, and the hybrid meetings could work well. The Administration building public bathrooms are now open. He is grateful that all the commissioners are respectful towards each other.
Commissioner Johnston he attended the WPPA Spring Meeting. He reported that he participated in the Snohomish County Update, but it mainly focused on COVID-19, so he was a little disappointed because he wished that it would have focused more on Snohomish County. He reported that he also attended the Legislative Review and it was a successful legislative session with the exception of last minute vetoes. Commissioner Johnston announced that he would attend the WPPA Roundtable on June 8th that will talk about how WA state small businesses are rebounding from the pandemic.
Commissioner Faires hopes that we can return to business as usual when the state opens, probably around the beginning of July and at that time we can end the Emergency Resolution.
Commissioner Orvis attended the Washington Public Port Association’s (WPPA) Spring Meeting. He wants to consider having another public records training session because there are updates and changes with regards to electronic records such as phones and I-pads. He stated that we should all brush up on it.
Commissioner Orvis stated that the WPPA has an embedded grant person in the National Fish and Wildlife group. We should talk to WPPA when we need to start grant writing.
Commissioner Orvis reported that the Port of Brownsville was the target of a ransomware attack.
Commissioner Orvis agreed with Commissioner Johnston that the Snohomish County Update wasn’t great. He said that it focused on what Snohomish County did for COVID-19.
Commissioner Orvis said that at the Legislative Review, people made it known that no one is happy with the Governor’s vetoes. We need to find a way to pay for transportation.
Commissioner Orvis said that he learned in an EASC Board meeting, that so many jobs are open for people with college degrees and STEM degrees.
Commissioner Orvis talked about the long term care insurance and that it is very hard to get a waiver.
Commissioner Harris reported that she attended the WPPA meeting. She enjoyed the speaker that talked about wanting to get things done no matter what your political affiliation. .
Commissioner Harris said that she dropped by to see the Puget Sound Anglers to release fish from the net pen.
Commissioner Harris announced that The Puget Sound Regional Council is meeting to talk about economic strategy, growth, housing strategy, and development.
Commissioner Harris said that she is planning to meet with Commissioner Faires and tour the Willow Creek Hatchery. She will also meet with Lisa, who is the stewardship program manager for the marsh restoration.
Commissioner Harris announced that next week she will meet with Bob McChesney and Will Chenn, City Council Candidate, and give Mr. Chenn a Port tour. Commissioner Harris is trying find a way to bring the waterfront together, possibly an education course or something. She suggested maybe the fall.
At 8:41 p.m. Commissioner Harris announced that the Commission would recess into an Executive Session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g) to evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public service or to review the performance of a public employee. She advised that the Executive Session would last approximately 30 minutes, and the Commission would resume the public portion of the meeting after the Executive Session. She further advised that no action would be taken after the Executive Session, and the meeting would be adjourned at the end of the Executive Session.
The Executive Session was adjourned at 9:06 p.m., and the business portion of the special meeting was reconvened immediately.
The Commission meeting was adjourned at 9:06 p.m.
Steve Johnston, Port Commission Secretary