11 Sep Commission Meeting Minutes 8-26-19
PORT COMMISSION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS. MINUTES OF SPECIAL AND REGULAR MEETINGS. August 26, 2019
Steve Johnston, President
Jim Orvis, Vice President
Angela Harris, Secretary
Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Marla Kempf, Deputy Director
Tina Drennan, Finance Manager
Bradford Cattle, Port Attorney
Karin Noyes, Recorder
CALL TO ORDER
President Johnson called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Commissioner Johnston announced that the Commission would recess into an Executive Session pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g) to review the performance of a public employee. He advised that the Executive Session would last approximately 45 minutes, and the Commission would resume the public portion of the meeting after the Executive Session. He further advised that no action would be taken after the Executive Session.
The Executive Session was adjourned at 6:45 p.m., and the business portion of the special meeting was reconvened at 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
All those in attendance participated in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
COMMISSIONER FAIRES MOVED THAT THE CONSENT AGENDA BE APPROVED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
B. APPROVAL OF AUGUST 12, 2019 MEETING MINUTES AS AMENDED
C. APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $203,745.28
COMMISSIONER ORVIS SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
There were no public comments.
PRESENTATION BY ZACHARY RICHARDSON, CITY OF EDMONDS STORMWATER ENGINEER — DAYTON STREET PUMP STATION PROJECT
Mr. McChesney introduced Zachary Richardson, City of Edmonds Stormwater Engineer, who was present to provide an update and overview of the City’s Dayton Street Pump Station Project. The project is complex and will have beneficial effects on Port property, particularly Harbor Square.
Zachary Richardson, City of Edmonds Stormwater Engineer, said he has been with the City of Edmonds for about two years. He started his presentation by providing pictures to illustrate the extensive flooding that has occurred in the past during conditions of both heavy rain and king tides. He advised that, in 2013, the City of Edmonds initiated a study to look at the entire area and several projects resulted from the findings. The pump station project will move forward this year or early next spring. In addition, the City is working on a marsh project to improve the stream channels. He provided an aerial photograph of the location where the new pump station would be located, noting that it would be placed underground, and only the vault lids would be visible. He also used a map to describe the details of the project, noting that a new force main will pump water out towards the Sound.
Commissioner Faires asked if the City has inspected the conditions of the existing lines that will remain as part of the system. Mr. Richardson answered that the City used a video camera to confirm the condition of the most of the existing pipes before the project started. However, they were unable to get the camera into the pipes that are below water. Mr. McChesney asked if the plan is to tie into the existing outfall, and Mr. Richardson answered that the new lines would tie into the existing outfall that is located between Arnies and Olympic Beach Park. Commissioner Orvis summarized that the pump would push against the water when the tide comes in to prevent flooding.
Mr. Richardson said the project will also include an emergency generator in the Fishing Pier Public Parking Lot. The generator will be above ground and will eliminate three public parking stalls. It will be screened and fenced. All of the electrical lines associated with the project will be buried underground. Mr. McChesney said it is worth noting that the parking lot is jointly owned by the City and Port and the Port recently approved an easement through the property to facilitate the project.
Mr. Richardson explained that, currently, the Salish Crossing site drains south to the system on Dayton Street, which then drains south through Harbor Square and to the Edmonds Marsh. The project will include a baffle wall that will drop down to allow the water to flow into the Dayton Street system rather than draining out through Harbor Square. Commissioner Faires asked how reliable the baffle system would be, and Mr. Richardson explained that the baffle could be adjusted to slide up and down depending on the conditions. Not only will the baffle divert water from Harbor Square, it will also be open at the top so water can flow back and forth. Commissioner Preston summarized that, as per the proposed project, water will flow through Harbor Square and to the marsh first, but if the marsh is backed up, it will flow into the pump station.
Mr. Richardson summarized that the Dayton Street Pump Station Project would provide the following benefits:
• It will divert runoff from 4.5 acres of Salish Crossing property and eliminate flooding on SR-104 and Dayton Street.
• It will provide a backup generator.
• It will provide hydraulic connections to Harbor Square.
• It will replace the current Fishing Pier Public Parking Lot lights with LED lights.
• Everything but the control panel and generator will be located below ground.
Mr. Richards also described the temporary impacts associated with the project:
• Construction noise.
• Challenging issues with circulation.
• Although they do not anticipate evening work, they will have to use dewatering pumps that will need to be used in the evening hours.
• A small portion of Admiral Way will require a single-lane closure with one-way flow and flaggers, but the intent is to keep this window small.
• Three public parking spaces will have to be eliminated.
• The contractor will use some of the Fishing Pier Public Parking Lot for staging and laydown, but the goal is to keep the contractor to the smallest footprint possible.
• Temporary circulation will need to be set up.
• There will be a temporary power shut down for the Beach Place Condominiums to allow the public utility district to tap into the generator.
• The contractor will stage at the main part of the walkway, likely for tanks, generators, pumps and other essential equipment. The walkway will need to be closed to ensure safety and a temporary walkway will be created.
Mr. Richardson said the contractor has 80 days to complete the project, and it is anticipated the construction time will be shorter. The vault for the pump will require the deepest excavation, and that is where they may run into some unexpected conditions. An archeologist will be on site to observe all of the digging. He advised that a start date has not been identified yet, but they know that the pump has a long lead time (between 2 and 3 months). A contract has been awarded to Boss Construction for $1.53 million, and they are currently working on the shop drawings for the pump order. Once the pump has been ordered, the anticipated delivery date will drive the construction timeline. The goal is to have the vault ready to drop the pump in as soon as it is delivered. He said it is possible that the project won’t get started until next spring, depending on the weather and when the actual pump will be available for installation.
Commissioner Orvis voiced concern that the pump station could be set so it only operates during extreme conditions. He asked if there is a plan to routinely run the pump to ensure it remains operational. Mr. Richardson explained that it doesn’t need to be an extreme condition for the pump to kick in. The pump will get some use during regular tides. However, during low flow conditions, the pump would not be operating.
Commissioner Preston asked if the City examined the catch basins at Harbor Square. Mr. Richardson answered affirmatively and added that the catch basins were cleaned last year. He noted that the City has a maintenance cycle that allows all of the catch basins to be cleaned every three years. Mr. McChesney recalled that there were issues with the storm lines under Harbor Square last year, and the main cause was tree roots. The problems were corrected last year to address flooding issues. Mr. Richardson advised that roots are on the list of routine maintenance projects.
Mr. Richardson advised that the City has a pre-design report in hand for the marsh Project, but they haven’t actually started designing it yet. The report recommends Alternative 6, which involves a meandering channel that doesn’t go extremely far out into the Unocal site. The alternative was developed with both hydraulics and habitat in mind. The report will be presented to the City Council for review. It may be necessary to do more pre-design studies, depending on direction from the City Council. At this time, staff is working to obtain more grant funding to move the design work forward. Two grant applications have been submitted, and one has been denied. It is difficult to get granting agencies to buy into a project without property owner agreement. He summarized that the City is ready to move to the next phase, but they are still waiting for permission from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). In addition, the Unocal site cleanup hasn’t been signed off yet. While they believe it will eventually happen, there is no timeline in place and he is not optimistic that the cleanup will be finished before the end of 2019.
Commissioner Preston asked what it will take for the City to get WSDOT to support the project, and Mr. Richardson responded that City staff is working to find a way to get the required permission but it has been a difficult process. Due to property owner constraints, it may be necessary to shrink the footprint of Alternative 6.
Commissioner Faires asked if the majority of the project activity would be concentrated towards the south half of the marsh. Mr. Richardson said the marsh project will occur from the pond south. He briefly described the other alternatives that were studied, including Alternative 5, which would have no flood walls or tide gate; Alternative 6, which would have no flood gate; and Alternative 7, which would have both flood walls and a tidal gate. He explained that in order to remove the tidal gate with the marsh project, they would need to build a wall along the entire Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) property line, and that will add significant cost. It will also require further encroachment into the buffer area, which means more mitigation would be required.
Commissioner Preston asked if BNSF has been involved in the project. Mr. Richardson answered that BNSF hasn’t been involved up to this point, but they need to be brought into the discussions as the next phase moves forward. If BNSF would allow the project to encroach into the right-of-way, they would receive some flood protection and the impact to the Port property would be less.
Mr. McChesney asked if the existing tidal gate would be impacted by the project. Mr. Richardson responded that they ran a model of the entire area to determine how the pump station improvement would perform in a worst-case scenario compared to the existing conditions. Based on their findings, it might be possible to remove the tidal gate altogether. Commissioner Faires pointed out that, with the exception of the pump station, the other projects are not scheduled to occur for quite some time.
Commissioner Preston observed that, in addition to daylighting the portion of the creek that flows through underground pipes on Port property, a lot of work will be needed on the open areas between the Port property and the marsh. Mr. Richardson agreed and said the City’s intent is to dredge the channels all the way back to the marsh to improve the flow and maintain a good depth for fish. Commissioner Preston asked if it would be possible to complete the marsh project in phases. Mr. Richardson answered affirmatively, but said the channel beds would remain dry until the entire project is completed. Doing the project in phases would require a lot of mobilization and permits, too.
Commissioner Johnston asked how the City plans to keep all of the channels open, and Mr. Richardson answered that routine maintenance is the best way to do that. He commented that this has been a point of contention, as the City believes that other agencies should provide more maintenance. It may fall to the City crews to complete the necessary maintenance work.
Commissioner Orvis commented that the entire marsh project is waiting on resolution of the property. Mr. Richardson agreed. He said staff will provide a progress report to the City Council soon, and the timeline may need to be adjusted based on the Council’s direction.
Commissioner Harris asked if the study findings, along with all of the alternatives, are available on the City’s website, and Mr. Richardson answered affirmatively. He added that the water quality samples are also available on the City’s website.
Commissioner Preston recalled that some City Council Members support opening the tidal gate as soon as possible. He asked if this could be done after the pump station project is completed but before the marsh project is done. Mr. Richardson answered that the pump station project could allow them to remove the tidal gate. Commissioner Preston asked if the tidal gate could be closed half way to reduce flow, and Mr. Richardson answered no. He explained that if the tidal gate is completely removed, it would be impossible to completely seal out the tide.
Commissioner Johnston reviewed that the City has hired a consultant to complete a study on the functionality and conditions of the marsh. He asked if anything that results from that study would alter the design of the marsh improvement project. Mr. Richardson reminded them that the marsh improvement project is in the conceptual stage now, and there are no design plans at this point. From the report, he knows that the soil has a really low Ph level, so some management will be necessary. He explained that the consultant was tasked with establishing the existing conditions and how the marsh currently functions, and the goal of the marsh improvement project is to make the marsh function better.
PRESENTATION BY RON GARNER, PUGET SOUND ANGLERS PRESIDENT – FISHING OVERVIEW AND UPDATE
Ms. Kempf introduced Ron Garner, President of Puget Sound Anglers, an organization of independent chapters with the common goal of preserving, protecting and enhancing the sport fisheries of Washington State. Mr. Garner was present to give the Commission an overview and update relative to fishing.
Ron Garner, President, Puget Sound Anglers (PSA), thanked the Port for allowing the SnoKing Chapter of PSA to use the Commission meeting room and for assisting with their net pens. He also thanked them for supporting the Edmonds Coho Derby, which has been a successful regional event for a number of years. He reported that PSA recently changed its mission statement to include hatchery reform as a priority. He described the impacts caused by funding cuts for hatcheries and explained how PSA is collaborating with the tribes to correct misguided information and bring common sense back into the fisheries. PSA recognizes that wild salmon are not going to come back in its purest form because the habitat is no longer in place to support it. In addition, a large number of salmon are lost each year to predators (seals, sea lions and birds). PSA believes more hatcheries are needed to increase the fish stock that provide food for the orcas. He explained how PSA has been working with the tribes to challenge the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG) scientists on issues related to hatchery reform, and they were recently able to convince the HSRG Commission to add additional chinook hatcheries to provide food for the orcas. He concluded his presentation by stressing the need for organizations to work together to increase the fish stock, not only for sport fishing, but more importantly, to support orca recovery.
Mr. McChesney thanked Mr. Garner and the PSA for their work on managing the fisheries to make good progress.
Commissioner Faires asked that Mr. Garner prepare a letter that outlines what the Port should and could do to further PSA’s goals. Mr. Garner said he is currently working on the next steps and could prepare a written letter outlining how the Port could support hatchery reform.
Commissioner Preston asked what percentage of the hatcheries in the state are utilized, and Mr. Garner answered that there are only half as many hatcheries as there used to be. They are now working to ramp that number up.
APPROVAL OF PURCHASE OF NEW TRAVELIFT
Mr. McChesney reviewed that the Port purchased the current Travelift in January of 2001, and it is scheduled for replacement in 2021. However, current issues have caused staff to request the purchase of a replacement now. He noted that, since 2015, the number of moves has increased by 29%, and the cost of repairs has significantly increased since 2016, as well. Over the past year, the machine has been taken out of service numerous times for repair, and these unscheduled breakdowns have caused big problems for Port staff and customers. The machine is obsolete and parts are difficult to locate, too. He reported that the latest breakdown occurred on August 15th, when the Travelift was out of service for six days. It took some time to diagnose the hydraulics problem and find replacement parts for a failing winch motor, as there were no off-the-shelf parts and Everett Engineering had to put together the part that was needed.
Mr. McChesney advised that the Travelift is a critical piece of equipment. When it breaks down, there is a ripple effect through the staff and service delivery programs. Staff is requesting the Commission approve Sole Sourcing the Marine Travelift 50 BFM II, which was found to be the only mobile boat hoist company that manufactures, sells and services in Washington State. While there are a few Chinese and Italian manufacturers, their sales and services are not local and are often outside the United States.
Mr. McChesney reminded the Commission that a new Travelift was included in the 2021 budget with an estimated cost of $400,000, and he recommended the Commission approve the Sole Source Justification documentation, authorize staff to move forward with purchasing a Marine Travelift 50 BFM II as per the specifications attached to the Staff Report, and authorize staff to initiate an electronic transfer of $100,088 as a down payment with the order. He noted that Port staff has negotiated the payment terms to meet government purchasing requirements. He said he anticipates a lead time of about 4 months, and he is reasonably confident they can keep the current machine working for that long. However, they may need to implement some load limits.
COMMISSIONER HARRIS MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE THE SOLE SOURCE JUSTIFICATION FOR A MARINE TRAVELIFT 50 BFM II AND AUTHORIZE STAFF TO PROCEED WITH PURCHASING A CUSTOM MARINE TRAVELIFT AS PER THE ATTACHED SPECIFICATIONS. SHE FURTHER MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE THE PORT STAFF TO INITIATE AN ELECTRONIC TRANSFER OF $100,088 AS A DOWN PAYMENT WITH THE ORDER. COMMISSIONER ORVIS SECONDED THE MOTION.
Commissioner Faires asked if staff has any idea of the pricing structure from other suppliers, and Mr. McChesney answered no. It is staff’s recommendation that they use Kendrick Equipment for the purchase. He noted that Marine Travelift is the industry standard and the most common.
Commissioner Orvis observed that the Travelift would remain outside at all times. He asked if the electronic controls would be inside the cab so they are protected from the weather and saltwater environment. Mr. McChesney answered that he is confident the machine is designed for a marine environment. Commissioner Orvis said it appears the machine will have portable controls so the operator doesn’t even need to be inside on the equipment. Mr. McChesney acknowledged that capability but emphasized that an operator would be on the Port’s Travelift when it is operating.
THE MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
APPROVAL OF HARBOR SQUARE BUILDING 3 ENGINEERING CONTRACT
Mr. McChesney recalled that he previously reported on the structural issues at Harbor Square Building 3. He asked that the Commission authorize him to enter into a professional services contract with CG Engineering to develop plans, specifications, bid documents and other construction services in an amount not to exceed $21,000. He emphasized that the contract would not include actual construction.
COMMISSIONER PRESTON MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION AUTHORIZE THE SCOPE OF WORK AND BUDGET NOT TO EXCEED $21,000 FOR CG ENGINEERING TO DEVELOP PLANS, SPECIFICATIONS, BID DOCUMENTS AND OTHER CONSTRUCTION SERVICES NECESSARY FOR THE STRUCTURAL REPAIRS OF HARBOR SQUARE BUILDING 3. COMMISSIONER FAIRES SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Commissioner Orvis asked about a timeline for the project, and Mr. McChesney answered that permits will be a determining factor, but he anticipates that the design and permit work will be finished by the end of the year and hopefully within the next few months. Commissioner Orvis asked if the building is safe in the meantime, and Mr. McChesney answered affirmatively. However, it is important to move forward with a permanent solution as soon as possible. He said a few tenants have asked to see the engineering reports, which staff provided. It is important that all of the tenants feel comfortable that the building is stable and safe.
Mr. McChesney advised that first phase of the project will involve repairing the structure, which will require siding removal to expose the damaged areas. The second phase will be the cladding, windows, and other work related to sealing the building envelope. The proposed contract is just for engineering services to move forward with a structural bid, but he hopes to have the entire project completed by the spring of 2020.
Commissioner Faires asked about the Port’s plan to inspect the other buildings at Harbor Square. Mr. McChesney said the plan is to do them one at time, relying on the observations of their maintenance staff. There are hints of water damage in the other buildings, but they haven’t seen the cracks and settling that has occurred at Building 3. He is confident that remedial work will be needed on other buildings, but he would like to focus on Building 3 first.
2020 BUDGET – BUDGET BASELINE CONDITIONS
Ms. Drennan reviewed that the budget is a plan that identifies resources for operations and capital projects, communicates the sources of revenue and costs of services, and allows the Commission and staff to review and prioritize repairs, improvements and other projects. She explained that the actual results may differ from the budget due to changed facilities or equipment conditions, changed priorities and/or changed economic environment. Facilities or equipment may break unexpectedly and funds may need to be reallocated to pay for the fixes.
Mr. Drennan advised that the Port implemented a cash flow model in 2012 as a method of determining moorage and dry storage rates and planning for future large capital expenditures such as replacing major marina assets. The model estimates future cash and investments based on projected revenues and expenses and known major capital improvements, and 2019 is the model’s 8th year.
Ms. Drennan reported that the Finance Committee met on June 27th to conduct the annual review of the Port’s Cash Flow Model. They looked at four different options for the projection of revenue, expense and interest income escalators:
1. Consumer Price Index (CPI) – The Finance Committee decided that CPI is not the appropriate escalator, as the Port has achieved revenue increases greater than CPI and has experienced expense increases greater than CPI.
2. 2002 – 2018 Average of Port History – Records are available for the calculation through this period. However, the Finance Committee decided that the range of 2002 to 2018 was not reflective of a true picture of operating results.
3. 5-Year Average of Port History – The Finance Committee decided that a 5-year range is too narrow and doesn’t properly reflect the activities of the Port.
4. 10-Year Average of Port History – The Finance Committee decided that the 10-year range reflects current activities, yet is broad enough that one odd year will not skew the data badly.
Ms. Drennan reviewed that the following escalators would be used in the 2019 Cash Flow Model Update:
• Permanent moorage revenues (not rates) would increase by 3.13%.
• Dry storage revenues (not rates) would increase by 1.43%.
• Other marina revenues would increase by 4.16%.
• Rental property revenues would increase by 3.23%.
• Cost of goods sold would increase by 3.64%.
• Operating expenses without depreciation would increase by 2.60%
• Interest income would increase by .64%.
Commissioner Preston referred to the Capital Budget/Capital Replacement Schedule, noting that all of the docks are scheduled for replacement during the 4-year period of 2045 through 2048 at a cost of more than $190 million. However, the current moorage rates are not substantial enough to cover this cost. He asked how the Port plans to pay for the projects. Ms. Drennan answered that the Port would have two options: pay for the projects out of cash or borrow money. It is anticipated that the Port would only be able to borrow between $30 and $40 million.
Commissioner Faires explained that the Cash Flow Model is a tool to provide some sense of what is coming down the road in terms of facility replacement. The numbers have shown consistent improvement over the years and indicate the Port will have sufficient funding for capital projects through 2047, which means they have 30 years to figure out how to pay for dock replacement. He said it has been the Commission’s position that the Port should charge moorage rates that are consistent with capital facility replacement costs so they do not have to assess the Port District residents. The Cash Flow Model represents the best guess at the future, but they know it isn’t exactly right. For example, they know that the docks will not need to be replaced on the same schedule outlined in the Capital Budget. Some may fail earlier, but most will likely last longer with careful maintenance.
Commissioner Orvis recalled that the replacement times were predicated on depreciation, which is an accounting tool. It is assumed that the length of time required to replace the individual docks would be scattered more widely, and with proper maintenance, the docks could last much longer. It has also been determined there is no way the Port could charge high enough rates to replace the entire marina in 50 years, and they do not know what the escalator will be for construction costs. The best estimate was to use the accounting tool of depreciation. The Capital Budget/Capital Replacement Schedule represents the worst-case scenario, which means the Port wouldn’t be able to replace the entire marina within a 50-year timeframe. The Cash Flow Model provides a way to look at the money the Port has and project forward what they expect to have in the future. In addition, when people comment on how much cash the Port has, the model can explain the Port’s position by pointing out how there won’t actually be enough money to cover all of the anticipated costs. He summarized that the Cash Flow Model is the best estimate, but should be used as a guideline to give the Commission something to look at when planning for the future.
Commissioner Preston asked if 2045 is somewhat accurate for when the docks will need to be replaced. Mr. McChesney answered that 2045 is illustrative and intended to guide today’s decisions. With good, aggressive maintenance, the life of the docks can be stretched out, but there are no guarantees. It would be hard for him to have confidence that replacement will happen exactly as it is laid out in the Capital Budget.
Commissioner Preston asked if the approximately $2.5 million cost for the Mid Marina Breakwater Rehabilitation in 2030 is accurate. Ms. Drennan answered that she used an escalator of 5%. Mr. McChesney explained that the work that will be completed as a result of the condition survey will only address the central portion of the breakwater and not the steel pile wings. The engineers rough order of magnitude estimate for the current project is between $650,000 and $700,000, depending on the types of materials used. Instead of using wood to replace the existing wooden slats, staff would be inclined to recommend precast concrete.
2020 BUDGET – PROPERTY TAX LEVY
Ms. Drennan advised that this item was placed on the agenda so the Commissioners can have a policy discussion about property taxes. She advised that Page 3 of the Staff Report shows the Port’s taxable assessed value, the actual tax levy amount and the actual tax levy rate from 1985 to projected 2020. She noted that the millage rate for 2019 is about $.067. The 2020 property tax valuation is based on the County Assessor’s Office preliminary values for tax year 2020. If the Port’s 2020 tax levy is $400,000, the millage rate would be about $.062.
Ms. Drennan advised that Page 4 of the Staff Report provides three figures. Figure 1 shows the Port District’s assessed value from 1990 to 2020, and Figure 2 shows the Port’s tax levy amount from 1990 to 2020. The tax levy amount has been $400,000 since 2008. Figure 3 shows the Port’s tax levy rate from 1990 to 2020. At one time, the levy rate was above $.30 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Ms. Drennan referred to Page 5, which shows the programs currently supported by property taxes: Launcher subsidy ($50,000), Harbor Square debt service ($170,000), Commissioner costs ($150,000) and public records requests and training ($30,000). She also referred to Page 6, which shows property taxes compared to CPI increases and 1% increases from 2009 to 2020. Page 7 shows the value of property taxes in 2008 dollars, and Page 8 provides samples of what a Port District resident’s tax bill might look like.
Ms. Drennan summarized that the tax levy has remained at $400,000 since 2008. Unless the Commission directs otherwise, she will include $400,000 for the property tax levy in the 2020 Preliminary Budget, with the same allocations as 2019.
Commissioner Faires recalled that the Commission’s fundamental policy has been to use tax revenue to pay off the Harbor Square debt service, which will be finished in early 2020. He said he would support a continued $400,000 tax levy as long as the funds are used to provide public amenities once the Harbor Square debt has been paid. The funds should be used to implement a reasonable plan to improve the public amenities on the Boardwalk on the west side of Admiral Way. Harbor Square should be a stand-alone activity that no longer requires taxpayer support.
Commissioner Harris asked if the public records request funding has been utilized, and Ms. Drennan answered affirmatively. She advised that $30,000 has been adequate so far.
Commissioner Harris requested more information about the launcher subsidy, and Ms. Drennan explained that the public launcher is supported with tax revenue because it doesn’t generate enough revenue to support itself.
The Commissioners agreed to continue the $400,000 tax revenue amount into 2020.
2020 BUDGET – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM EXPENSE
Ms. Drennan referred the Commissioners to the Economic Development and Tourism Summary that was attached to the Staff report. The summary shows the different economic development and tourism expense items from 2015 through 2018, as well as projected 2019 and 2020. It also identifies where they are located in the budget and financial statements. She advised that the Finance Committee has proposed the following expenditures for 2020:
Commissioner Preston asked staff to define “promotional hosting.” Ms. Drennan advised that “promotional hosting” rules are outlined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) and further defined in Port Resolution 95-2. Promotional hosting includes activities such as taking a prospective tenant out to lunch to talk about potential business opportunities. In order to expend funds on promotional activities, the expense must be approved by the Commission at the annual public hearings on the Port District budget, and the funds can only be spent by the Executive Director.
Commissioner Preston questioned if $1,500 would be enough to provide interpretive signage on the waterfront. Mr. McChesney acknowledged that it might not be enough, but they will become better informed about this cost once the public access plan is finished. If more funding is needed, the Commission could authorize an additional expenditure.
Commissioner Faires said he supports the proposed Economic Development and Tourism Budget, which is specific to the Port’s purpose of promoting the economic vitality of the Port District. He pointed out that about $10,000 of the total Economic Development and Tourism Budget would be unallocated in 2020 and the Commission and staff should work hard to identify viable opportunities for economic development within the Port District so the money can be spent supporting the Port’s primary mission.
Commissioner Harris asked if it is possible for the Port to support local activities such as Students Saving Salmon and Sound Salmon Solutions. She said she reviewed the rules outlined in the RCW but would like additional clarification. Mr. McChesney commented that Economic Development is what a port is intended to do, but we are not a grant funding agency either. There is a tendency to blur the lines when applying the RCW. Mr. Cattle instructed that, if something interests a Commissioner, the best approach would be for him to complete a statutory analysis to see if it can be made to fit within RCW rules. He advised that, just recently, Commissioner Preston tasked him with analyzing a topic very much related to this issue. The Commission discussed whether or not the RCW allows the Port to provide financial support to educational programs, and Mr. Cattle said the best way to address this issue is to develop the concept and outline why it fits with the Port’s mission and then present it to the State Auditor for feedback.
Commissioner Harris asked why the Edmonds Yacht Club was listed in the advertising budget with a zero amount. Ms. Drennan explained that the Port exchanges advertising with the yacht club. The yacht club advertises in the Destination Port of Edmonds book and the Port advertises in the yacht club’s book.
Mr. McChesney asked the Commission for feedback and guidance relative to the two alternatives for a crosswalk on Admiral Way. He reminded them that the City’s Transportation Engineer attended the last meeting to discuss the pros and cons of each alternative.
Commissioner Preston suggested that Alternative 1 (just south of Jacobsen’s Marine) would be the best location. He pointed out that the design could be simplified by eliminating the rapid-flashing beacon light and the bulb outs. Orange crossing flags could be provided instead.
Commissioners Orvis and Harris voiced support for Alternative 2 (just south of the driveway to Arnies Restaurant), which is closer to the intersection of Dayton Street and Admiral Way. Commissioner Orvis said he supports the idea discussed at the last meeting about adding a flashing sign to warn drivers that they are approaching a heavy pedestrian area. The light would slow drivers down for at least 50 feet and make the crossing safer. He pointed out that there is already a gate and street light at the Alternative 2 location, and the sidewalk has already been expanded to the gate to allow people to come in and out. He acknowledged that patrons of the yacht club would have to walk back 50 feet to access the crosswalk, but Alternative 2 would adequately serve both the yacht club and Arnies. He reminded the Commission that an additional crosswalk will be needed if and when a building is constructed on the other side of Admiral Way. When combined, these two crosswalks would provide adequate safe crossings.
The majority of the Commissioners voiced support for Alternative 2, which is consistent with the City Traffic Engineer’s recommendation, too. Commissioner Orvis commented that the crosswalk should be well done so that the next one could be modeled after it. The new crosswalk should include a flashing light to get drivers attention, curb cuts for American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and street lights for Arnies and yacht club patrons. He noted that the estimated cost of the crosswalk is less than originally anticipated and well under the amount identified in the operating budget. Commissioner Johnston agreed and expressed his belief that the city would not likely support a crosswalk in this location that does not include lighting, bulb outs, etc.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. McChesney recalled that, in response to comments from residents living uphill from the Dry Storage Facility, the Port hired a consultant to complete a noise study of the forklift backup alarms and machine engine noise at operating levels and provide recommendations to reduce sound levels received in nearby residential communities. The report summarizes that:
• Although backup alarms are exempt from the Edmonds City Code (ECC) sound limits, it is worth noting that measured sound levels produced by the backup alarms were below daytime and nighttime ECC sound level limits at nearby residential structures. However, modeled sound levels at residential property lines only comply with daytime limits.
• Noise from trains traveling between the Port and the residential properties ranged between 56 dBA and 65 dBA at the measurement locations within the community. Train noise is approximately 11 dBA to 20 dBA louder than noise generated by the tonal and broadband backup alarms.
• Measurements indicate that backup alarms used by the Port are generally audible above the surrounding on-site noise level and are believed to comply with the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA). However, the audibility of the alarms may not be sufficient during times that trains pass by the Port, depending on where the forklift is operating.
Mr. McChesney advised that the consultant has recommended that, while the backup alarms on the Port’s forklifts are exempt from the ECC sound level limits, the Port may voluntarily elect to replace them with ambient sensing broadband backup alarms in an effort to reduce noise levels in nearby residential communities. These alarms adjust their volume based on the surrounding noise environment and are commonly required to be used on construction equipment operating during nighttime hours to reduce the number of noise complaints. If the Port chooses to replace the backup alarms, sound levels received within the residential community may be reduced by up to 20 dBA.
Mr. McChesney concluded his report by stating that the Port intends to install the ambient sensing broadband backup alarms in the two forklifts at a cost of about $500 each. He said he would prepare a report to the neighbors, advising them of the findings and the proposed solution. He said he anticipates this will satisfy them that the Port has addressed the issue as best it can.
Mr. McChesney recalled that, at the last Commission meeting, a citizen raised a concern about children having open access to M/N dock. He said staff has attempted to address the concern by notifying the Edmonds Yacht Club of the problem. The yacht club’s event coordinator has agreed to put out a reminder for patrons to watch their children. In addition, staff installed another safety ring and a magnetic latch on the gate access. He explained that the gate must remain unlocked and easy to open during the daylight hours to meet Federal requirements, and staff is working to perfect the magnetic latch as a viable option for addressing the problem.
COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Harris reported that she met with Joe Scordino and the group Students Saving Salmon and she also visited the hatchery to discuss their educational programs.
Commissioner Johnston reported that the Environmental Committee met on August 9th to review the consultant’s findings relative to the stormwater pilot program. The consultant has recommended that the Port install additional units throughout the Port property. He said he also visited the hatchery with Commissioner Harris and attended the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County (EASC) Networking Event on August 20th. He noted that the Orca Recovery Task Force meeting on September 9th will conflict with the Commission’s next regular meeting. As a result, he will arrive late to the Commission meeting.
Commissioner Orvis said he also attended the EASC Networking Event and had a very interesting discussion with the Snohomish County Executive. He announced that he would attend the EASC Board Meeting next week.
Commissioner Johnston read a letter from the Washington State Finance Officers Association announcing that Tina Drennan has earned the Professional Finance Officers Award. The Commissioners congratulated her and thanked her for doing a great job for the Port of Edmonds.
Commissioner Preston shared a picture of a dock sign at the Port of Kingston. While the sign includes too much information, the Commission may want to use it as a model for what could be included on Port of Edmonds signage.
Commissioner Preston announced that he would attend the Northwest Marine Trade Association Meeting. He said he was glad to hear the update from Ron Garner, who is working hard to address salmon recovery and recreational fishing opportunities.
The Commission meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Angela Harris , Port Commission Secretary