14 Sep Commission Meeting Minutes 8-29-22
PORT COMMISSION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
(Via Zoom& In Person) August 29, 2022
David Preston, President
Steve Johnston, Vice President
Jim Orvis, Secretary
Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Tina Drennan, Manager of Finance and Accounting
Brittany Williams, Manager of Properties and Economic Development
Glenn Merryman, Security Supervisor
Jordan Stephens, Port Attorney
CALL TO ORDER
President Preston called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
All those in attendance participated in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
ITEM D (APPROVAL OF BEACH PLACE EDMONDS AGREEMENT TO COVER AGREEMENT, EASEMENTS AND TSUNAMI SIREN) WAS REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT AGENDA. COMMISSIONER ORVIS MOVED THAT THE REMAINDER OF THE CONSENT AGENDA BE APPROVED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
B. APPROVAL OF AUGUST 8, 2022 MEETING MINUTES, AS SUBMITTED
C. APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS IN THE AMOUNT OF $728,928.53
COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Regarding Item D (Approval of Beach Place Edmonds Agreement to Cover Agreement, Easements, and Tsunami Siren), Chuck Wallace, Edmonds Safety and Disaster Coordinator, advised that, with the exception of the electric power and batteries, the siren is maintained by the State of Washington. The City wants to have an agreement in place to make it clear who owns and is responsible for the siren. Mr. McChesney added that he sees the agreement as a housekeeping formality. Commissioner Preston asked how the City could ensure that the siren is in working order, and Mr. Wallace answered that a test is done each morning by the State, and he receives a report via email. If the Port wants to receive the daily report, as well, he could forward their information to the State.
COMMISSIONER ORVIS MOVED TO MOVE ITEM D TO THE REGULAR AGENDA AS AN ACTION ITEM. COMMISSIONER GRANT SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Mr. McChesney read the following email submittal from Gary Ostlund, a Port tenant:
“I understand that it may be time for a review of moorage rates. In the past, the Commission has used the CPI as the basis of a moorage rate increase. With the CPI at 9.1%, the possible rate increase does not make sense. The recent publication of the financial state of the Port is looking very positive. As a tenant of the Port for about 40 years, I have seen just about everything and can say that you all are doing good work. If I were there tonight, I would ask the Commissioners how many of you have a boat in the Port as a tenant. I hope most of you do. I can tell you, the expense of ownership never goes down, even when the season for salmon fishing grows less and less each year. My request is this, consider no rate increase this year; give us boaters and the residents a chance to recover from the financial mess we deal with every day.”
There were no other public comments.
PRESENTATION BY CHIEF MICHELLE BENNETT, EDMONDS POLICE DEPARTMENT
Mr. McChesney introduced Michelle Bennett, City of Edmonds Police Chief, and shared information about her education, training, work experience, etc.
Chief Bennett advised that she started her current career in 1989 as an Edmonds Police Cadet, and was sworn in as the City’s Police Chief in September of 2021. It is a great department with a fantastic crew of people. She has had an opportunity to meet with a variety of citizens to learn what is important to the residents, and she was present to answer the Port’s questions.
Mr. McChesney advised that the Port relies on the Edmonds Police Department to assist its security team on public safety issues. He invited the Port’s Security Supervisor to share his thoughts and questions.
Mr. Merryman commented that homelessness is becoming a growing concern at the Port and asked the status of an ordinance that was before the City Council regarding camping overnight in the City. Chief Bennett said the No Camping Ordinance was adopted by the City Council. It does not criminalize homelessness, but it does prohibit overnight camping in public spaces. She noted that it has always been a misdemeanor to camp overnight in the City’s parks without a permit, so the new ordinance is a natural extension to other areas of the City. She emphasized that the ordinance cannot be enforced unless available shelter is offered.
Mr. McChesney asked if the Police Department will be responsible for helping homeless people find the services they need or if the work would be done by another City entity. Chief Bennett expressed her belief that too much has been tasked to police, who are not certified mental health counselors or addiction specialists. However, the Police and Human Services Departments can work as a team, with the police serving as a conduit to get people services.
Commissioner Preston asked if everyone who has been offered a place to stay has accepted or if they have simply left the City. Chief Bennett answered that people have accepted hotel vouchers. She noted that Snohomish County is in the process of purchasing a hotel in Edmonds that can house 46 people and offer human services, as well. She summarized that the goal is for people to have healthy housing and to protect the community from a public safety standpoint. The City Council has done a great job of supporting this goal, and the officers are very compassionate about helping people.
Commissioner Orvis asked who would be responsible for managing the hotel, and Chief Bennett answered that the County has an agreement with a non-profit organization that will manage the hotel. However, the Edmonds Police Department will respond if there is a problem.
Commissioner Orvis asked if the Port is still responsible for locking the gate to Marina Beach Park at night, and Mr. Merryman answered affirmatively. Commissioner Orvis asked who is responsible to address issues with drug use, etc. on the fishing pier, and Chief Bennett responded that the police will respond if called.
Chief Bennett advised that the City Council allocated funding in 2022 to purchase dive equipment to reinstate the dive team, and she has requested funding for a 3-person marine unit, as well. She sees this as a collaborative effort with Washington State Ferries, Port of Edmonds, State Patrol, Fire District 1 and Edmonds Police Department. She hopes to have a fully-staffed marine unit on board within the next year or two to serve the shoreline area in Edmonds. She expressed her belief that the City would be remiss if it did not take some action towards a collaborative emergency management plan and training related to the waterways, ferries and port, which are potential domestic or international terrorism targets. The proposed new marine unit could help facilitate this work.
Commissioner Grant reported that he met with a representative from the U.S. Coast Guard, who advised that the largest number of incidents occur in the water near Edmonds. If the incident is human-involved, it is important to understand that they can’t be on site within 10 minutes. Chief Bennett reminded them of the plane that went down near the marina, which illustrates the need for collaboration to provide the equipment, facilities and personnel needed to effectively address potential issues. Commissioner Orvis noted the significant increase in the number of people kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, etc. in the waters near Edmonds.
Commissioner Preston summarized that Chief Bennett would continue to work with the Assistant Police Chief, the City’s Safety and Disaster Coordinator, and Commissioner Grant to solidify a plan and move it forward.
Commissioner Orvis requested a report on the City’s satellite office on Highway 99. Chief Bennett responded that a community service officer is currently stationed at the site Monday through Friday, and the building is open with a person at the front desk. The initial thought was that the office would be used for permitting, planning, etc., but it became clear early on that most of the needs involve criminal justice issues. In her 2023 budget request, she is asking for a full-time commissioned officer who would be stationed there full time to service the Highway 99 area. They are waiting for some security enhancements to occur to the front area before the satellite office can be fully opened up.
Mr. McChesney thanked Chief Bennett for taking the time to meet with the Commission, and said he looks forward to continuing the conversation. He said the Port appreciates everything the Edmonds Police Department does to support the Port.
PRESENTATION BY CHARLES WALLACE, CITY OF EDMONDS SAFETY AND DISASTER COORDINATOR, REGARDING EMERGENCY AND DISASTER PLANNING
Mr. McChesney introduced Chuck Wallace, Edmonds Safety and Disaster Coordinator, and shared information about his background and experience.
Mr. Wallace stressed the importance of a heavy planning environment and coordinating and cooperating with neighboring jurisdictions to create plans so they can be implemented when funding opportunities become available. He complimented Chief Bennett and her staff for their work in this regard.
Mr. Wallace advised that, previously, the Emergency Service Coordinating Agency (ESCA) controlled emergency disaster processes in coordination with a variety of jurisdictions, but the agency no longer exists. One of his goals is to make more connections with surrounding jurisdictions and public agencies like the Port. While reviewing the City’s current plans, he noticed there is very little mention of the Port. Because both the Port and the City will be impacted if a disaster were to occur, they need to improve communication and collaborate in planning efforts. He shared that the City needs the following plans:
• Tsunami Plan. The tsunami siren is a good start, but they need to have a tsunami plan in place.
• Oil Spill Response Plan. The Port and City should collaborate together on this plan, which should include the capabilities the Port has if a major oil spill were to occur.
• Evacuation and Movement Plan.
• Disaster Recovery Plan.
• Communication Plan.
• Damage Assessment Plan.
• Continuity of Operation Plan. Besides knowing who is in charge of each City department in the event of an emergency or disaster, it is important to know what each one needs in order to function effectively. It is also important to coordinate with the Port and other jurisdictions and agencies to create a plan that identifies and prioritizes what functions need to take place first in order to reduce the impact of an emergency or disaster.
Mr. Wallace advised that he has invited the Port’s Director of Marina Operations to sit on a variety of committees that are working to create and/or update the City’s plans. When it comes to an emergency or disaster, both the City and the Port will be impacted. The goal is to work together to understand the prioritization outlined in the plans and why decisions are made.
Mr. Wallace announced that the City will host an Emergency Preparedness Expo at the Frances Anderson Center on September 17th from 11 am to 3 pm. He has invited people from a variety of State agencies to discuss the situations that affect the Edmonds community specifically. Members of the public will be invited to speak directly with the people who wrote some of the plans and are aware of the modeling that will be occurring going forward. Educating the public is an important part of emergency preparedness.
Commissioner Harris agreed that the Port should partner with the City and be part of the solution.
Commissioner Grant asked if Mr. Wallace will be including the Town of Woodway in any of the planning discussions. Mr. Wallace answered that the goal is to get everyone together to start discussions. They each need to understand their capabilities, where they are dependent on each other, and how they can assist each other in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Commissioner Preston asked if it would be possible to start the discussions on a local level and then bring in others. He commented that ESCA was really intended to address the radio communication aspect of emergency preparedness. The Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management was supposed to take over this responsibility, but they don’t have the same resources for radio. Mr. Wallace agreed that the best approach would be to start locally, first by establishing an Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and then holding meetings with representatives from the business district, Port, police, fire, school district, citizens, etc. to discuss what is going in the communities and what they could do better.
Commissioner Preston agreed that the effort should start locally and then pull in other jurisdictions and agencies into the discussions. Once people see that something is being organized, it will pull other people in to participate in things like CERT. Mr. Wallace said CERT will be on the agenda at the Emergency Preparedness Expo. He already has people who are willing to provide the training, and he will be looking for volunteers to participate. Once trained, it will be important to utilize the volunteers to the benefit of the community.
Commissioner Preston thanked Mr. Wallace for his presentation and advised that representatives from the Port would likely attend the Emergency Preparedness Expo on September 17th. Mr. McChesney added that he looks forward to the Port being involved with Mr. Wallace regarding emergency management.
(Item D on the Consent Agenda)
Mr. McChesney said the proposed agreement pertains to the Fishing Pier parking lot, which the City and Port co-own. The ownership is equal and undifferentiated, and the obligations of each party are stipulated in the Parking Lot Agreement dated February 4, 1982. Subsequently, the City has added various utilities (Attachment B) and appurtenances to support the Fishing Pier and other local infrastructure such as a Tsunami Warning Siren (Attachment C) and the electrical vault for the pump station. Since the parking lot is jointly owned without differentiation, the requirement for specific easements to support these physical improvements may not be strictly necessary. However, it is necessary for the good order and management of this property to obtain some type of written documentation to memorialize these arrangements. The proposed agreement was drafted by the City at their request. It has been reviewed by the Port Attorney, but the Commission has not had an opportunity to discuss it.
Commissioner Grant observed that the agreement references a 1982 agreement and not the original agreement of 1977. Port Attorney Stephens explained that the 1982 amendment completely replaced the original agreement. Commissioner Grant asked if the proposed agreement is common when two entities jointly own a piece of property. Mr. McChesney answered that, in his view, the agreement is atypical, but the ownership is atypical, too. When he was first approached by Mr. Wallace to discuss whether or not an easement would be required for the Tsunami Warning Siren, it was determined that it probably wouldn’t be necessary. However, the City later decided that it should be memorialized via an agreement.
In response to a question by Commissioner Grant, Commissioner Johnston explained that the Tsunami Warning Siren is part of a statewide system and is owned and operated by the state. Commissioner Orvis added that the state monitors and tests the siren on a daily basis. The City’s only responsibility is to replace the batteries as needed. The Port has no responsibility for the siren.
Commissioner Harris asked for clarification as to why the agreement was pulled from the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Grant said he requested that the item be pulled to make sure that the agreement would not affect other elements of the original agreement. Mr. McChesney said it should not, and Port Attorney Stephens agreed.
Questions were raised about why the City didn’t ask the Port before installing the siren, and Commissioner Orvis suggested it is partially the Port’s fault because they have never cared about the parking lot, and the City staff assumes it is owned by the City. He noted that the Waterfront Center recently published that the Fishing Pier parking lot is free for their patrons to use, even though that is not part of their agreement.
Mr. McChesney commented that the Commission could decline action on the agreement at this time to allow staff to double check to ensure it wouldn’t impact any other part of the agreement. Commissioner Johnston noted that the Port Attorney has already indicated it would not.
COMMISSIONER HARRIS MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE THE AGREEMENT TITLED CITY OF EDMONDS AND PORT OF EDMONDS AGREEMENT REGARDING THE JOINTLY-OWNED PARKING LOT. COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON SECONDED THE MOTION.
Commissioner Grant suggested that the motion should make specific reference to the Tsunami Siren. Port Attorney Stephens responded that the agreement is not limited to the tsunami siren. It also references other similar utilities that have been on the property in which the City would be indemnifying the Port. Commissioner Grant asked if the agreement would give the City the right to put other utilities within the parking lot. Ms. Drennan referred to Item 1.C of the agreement, which states that the agreement would cover the three currently installed utilities and any and all future utilities installed by the City on the property. Commissioner Grant noted that the original contract says it must be done by mutual consent. He doesn’t want the agreement to allow the City to add anything else without mutual consent. Commissioner Orvis suggested the problem is not what the agreement says, but the fact that the City didn’t fulfill the requirement of the agreement to obtain mutual consent.
Port Attorney Stephens pointed out that Item 1.C says other utilities will be covered by the agreement, which primarily addresses responsibility for maintaining and future indemnification, if needed. It doesn’t actually give consent to future utilities. Regardless, because this has been an issue with the City, the Port could propose an amendment to Item 1.C that adds a second sentence that requires the City to obtain consent from the Port before adding any utilities or other improvements beyond the three that are currently installed. Commissioner Orvis agreed to the amendment, but noted that mutual consent is already included in the original agreement. If they haven’t followed the requirement in the original agreement, why would adding a sentence make any difference at all. Port Attorney Stephens responded that the amendment would clarify that Item 1.C doesn’t mean the City no longer has to get the Port’s consent.
Commissioner Johnston asked if there is a history of the City doing the right thing at this location in the past. Mr. McChesney answered affirmatively, noting that they sought agreement from the Port when the electrical vault was installed to support the new pump station. Commissioner Johnston suggested it is a matter of City staff not knowing what the agreement requires, which is a communication issue rather than an agreement issue.
Commissioner Grant expressed his belief that Item 1.C is too open. Mr. McChesney suggested they pull the motion and allow staff to revise the provision and bring it back to the Commission as an action item.
COMMISSIONER HARRIS WITHDREW HER MOTION, AND COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON, THE SECONDER OF THE MOTION AGREED.
PORT OF EDMONDS MISSION STATEMENT
Commissioner Johnston explained that he and Commissioner Grant reviewed the current Mission Statement and drafted an amended version for the Commission’s consideration. Commissioner Preston said he liked the Mission Statement that was adopted in 1992, which was attached to the Staff Report. Commissioner Johnston agreed, but added that the new Mission Statement should also address the environment.
Commissioner Grant suggested they send the draft back to the committee to discuss further. Mr. McChesney pointed out that the Mission Statement is intended to be a preamble to the Strategic Plan, which is reviewed during the budget process. He suggested that the 2023 Commission/Staff Retreat could focus in on the Strategic Plan. In anticipation of that discussion, they could reenergize a Planning Committee to vet various initiatives and ideas and provide input at the retreat. Commissioner Harris agreed that would be a good idea.
Commissioner Harris suggested that they need to think ahead from a planning standpoint and identify some goals and intent for the next five to ten years. They could consider the various ideas that have come up previously and discuss how they might fit with the Port’s Mission Statement. They need really clear prioritization because staff time and funding are limited and they have some major projects in the works. The process could start with the Planning Committee followed by Commission discussion at the upcoming retreat.
Commissioner Orvis said he also likes the Mission Statement that was adopted in 1992, except for the word equitable. He isn’t clear on what that means anymore. Commissioner Grant felt that the 1992 version was too specific. All of the Commissioners agreed that the Mission Statement should be short and concise.
Commissioners Grant and Johnston agreed to rework the Mission Statement to incorporate the suggestions put forward by the Commissioners. Mr. McChesney summarized that the Commission is interested in using the 1992 version from a conceptual standpoint, but it could be modernized and updated. Commissioners Grant and Johnston invited additional feedback from the Commissioners.
The Commissioners supported the formation of a Planning Committee to prepare for the 2023 retreat by focusing in on long-range planning and other initiatives that have been discussed. Commissioners Grant and Johnston agreed to serve on the committee, and Mr. McChesney would participate, as well. They plan to have their initial meeting in September.
2023 BUDGET – PROPERTY TAX LEVY
Ms. Drennan advised that this item is on the agenda to allow the Commissioners to discuss property taxes and provide guidance for the 2023 Budget. The Finance Committee met on August 11, 2021 to review the funding options for the Administration/Maintenance Building and the Portwalk and Seawall. To pay for the public portion of the Portwalk and Seawall, the Finance Committee recommended increasing the property tax to the maximum levy amount. She reviewed that Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 53.36.020 limits the Port’s property tax to $0.45 per thousand of property value. Washington State Initiative 747 caps the property tax increase to 1% per year plus new construction. During the 2022 budget process, the Commission chose to increase the annual tax levy from $400,000 to the maximum regular property tax level plus 1%, new construction and refunds, which adds up to $610,000. A 1% increase over this amount would equate to approximately $616,000. The Port won’t know the amount of new construction and refunds until after the budget is passed and the County completes the calculation.
Ms. Drennan advised that Port staff is proposing to allocate the 2023 property tax funds as follows: Launcher Subsidy ($25,000), Portwalk and Seawall Project ($441,000), Commissioners ($140,000), and Public Records Requests, Tools and Training ($10,000). Amounts collected from new construction and refunds will be allocated to the Portwalk and Seawall Project.
Ms. Drennan referred to the Tax Levy History (Page 3), which shows the Port’s taxable assessed value, actual tax levy amount and actual tax levy rate (millage rate) from 1990 to proposed 2023. The millage rate for 2022 was approximately $.081. The property tax valuation is based on the Snohomish County Assessor’s Office preliminary values at the beginning of August. They are projecting an average increase of 25% to all properties in the Port District. If the 2023 tax levy is $616,000, the milage rate would be approximately $.066 due to the increase in property values. The maximum levy amount available in 2022 was $609,880, and the highest millage rate was in 1991 at $.31 per thousand. Commissioner Preston noted that only 4 years out of the past 33 years had a millage rate less than what is currently proposed. Twelve years were over, and some years were over by four times what is being proposed.
Ms. Drennan referred to Page 4, noting that Figure 1 shows the Edmonds Port District Assessed Value from 1990 to 2023, which has increased from about $1 billion to over $9 billion. Figure 2 shows the Port of Edmonds Tax Levy Amount from 1990 to 2023, and Figure 3 shows the Port of Edmonds Tax Levy Rate from 1990 to 2023. The information on Page 6 shows a sample of what a tax bill might look like for Port District residents.
Ms. Drennan referred to Pages 7 and 8, noting that Figure 5 shows total property tax history from 2017 to 2022 for an $800,000 house in the Port District, a $1 million home, and a $1.4 million home. Figure 5 shows Port property taxes for those same three homes. As the scale can be misleading, Figure 6 shows the total property taxes for an $800,000 home versus the Port property taxes for that same home.
Unless tonight’s discussion indicates otherwise, Ms. Drennan said staff would include $616,000 for the property tax levy in the Preliminary 2023 Budget, with allocations of $25,000 to the public launcher, $441,000 to the Portwalk and Seawall Project and $150,000 to overhead.
2023 BUDGET – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM EXPENSE BUDGET
Ms. Drennan advised that staff has been reviewing programs while preparing the 2023 Preliminary Budget, and tonight they are presenting the proposed 2023 Economic Development and Tourism Expense Budget to the Commission for review. She referred to the Economic Development and Tourism Expense spreadsheet showing actual results from 2018 to 2021, 2022 projected and the proposed budget for 2023. She noted that activity was reduced in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and its associated restrictions.
Ms. Drennan reviewed that the spreadsheet shows the different economic development and tourism expense items and where they are located in the budget and financial statements. She reminded them that the Port participates in economic development and tourism through the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County (EASC), Destination Port of Edmonds (DPOE), Sea Notes, the Edmonds Arts Festival, and the Edmonds Bird Fest. The Port invites guests to the Port via advertising in publications and through the Seattle Boat Show. It promotes tourism through participation in the Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA).
In response to Commissioner Preston’s question, Mr. McChesney advised that the WTA was formed as a result of the legislature’s failure to fund tourism. Its purpose is to lobby the legislature to finance tourism promotion. The Port has been a member of the alliance for the past few years. Ms. Williams added that the alliance also sponsors programs and lectures that she attends to get updates on how the state is doing with tourism.
Ms. Drennan advised that for 2023, the Marketing committee is proposing the following:
Economic Development and Tourism
• Economic Alliance of Snohomish County — $5,000
• Destination Port of Edmonds — $5,000
• Sea Notes — $3,000
• Edmonds Arts Festival — $2,000
• Edmonds Bird Fest — $1,000
• Tourism and Marketing — $5,000
• Other Economic Development Opportunities — $5,000
• Marina Advertising — $5,000
• Port/Event Advertising — $3,000
• Seattle Boat Show — $8,000
• Family Day at the Port — $4,000
• Holiday Event at the Marina — $3,000
• Scarecrow Contest — $200
• Canva Pro — $200
• Other — $1,000
• Washington Tourism Alliance — $500
• Promotional Hosting — $2,500
Ms. Drennan summarized that the total proposed Economic Development and Tourism Budget is $53,400. None of the items include staff time, which is recorded as a Salaries and Wage Expense.
Commissioner Orvis asked if “Other Economic Development Opportunities” would include things like advertising in cruise guides, etc. Ms. Williams responded that it could. She explained that advertising expenses have been separated out for events and the marina, but other opportunities might come along throughout the year.
Commissioner Preston pointed out that 2023 is the Port’s 75th Anniversary. It was suggested that perhaps the anniversary could be celebrated at the Family Day at the Port event and in conjunction with the ribbon cutting for the new Administration/Maintenance Building. Commissioner Preston said he would support additional funding for the event. Mr. McChesney noted that there are contingency funds that can be allocated for this purpose as appropriate.
Commissioner Harris asked if there are restrictions associated with adjusting the budget once it has been approved. Ms. Drennan said it is possible to amend the budget, but a public hearing is required each time. However, the Commission can move the funds in the Economic Development and Tourism Budget around as needed to accomplish the desired tasks.
Commissioner Harris asked why the budget for the boat show was substantially increased. Ms. Williams said $8,000 has been budgeted for the past several years, and the numbers shown for previous years are actual expenses. There has been some discussion about replacing the backdrop for the display. Mr. McChesney commented that, at this time, it is not clear whether the Seattle Boat show will resume in its format prior to the pandemic, so no decision has been made as to the Port’s participation in 2023.
Commissioner Preston suggested that if the ribbon cutting event for the new Administration/Maintenance Building is postponed until later in the year, he would still like to do a Family Day at the Port event in June or July. Ms. Williams said it is important to remember that the summer months are very busy at the Port and that events take months to plan. Traditionally, they have had Family Day at the Port on the weekend after Memorial Day, and they would need to commit to that by the start of the year. Mr. McChesney said he would prefer to do the event in conjunction with an open house for the new building, and the Commissioners generally agreed.
Commissioner Preston asked for additional information regarding the interpretive signage that will be included as part of the Portwalk Redevelopment Project. Ms. Drennan explained that this expenditure would be included in the Capital Budget and not in the Economic Development and Tourism Budget.
HARBOR SQUARE 2ND QUARTERLY REPORT
Ms. Williams presented the 2nd Quarter 2022 Harbor Square Report, highlighting the following:
• Gross projected revenue was up 7.49% or roughly $37,000 over the same period in 2021.
• The occupancy rate at the end of the 2nd Quarter was 91.2%, up from the occupancy rate of 90.33% in 2nd Quarter 2021.
• No leases ended in Quarter 2, and there were no new leases. There were three lease extensions, with one tenant in Building 3 extending for 24 months for a value of over $122,000.
• Major projects included painting touchups at Building 4, irrigation repairs, drain sock replacements, and asphalt patch repair between Buildings 4 and 5 and outside of Building 2.
• Two incidences occurred at Harbor Square in May. The first was a mailbox break-in at Building 1, and the entire mailbox has since been replaced. There was a busted drain pipe at Building 4, which occurred when a tenant was installing a fence. The drain pipe has been repaired.
Commissioner Preston asked what the current occupancy rate is, and Ms. Williams answered that the occupancy rate in August is just a bit higher at about 92%. Commissioner Preston asked if this high occupancy rate is similar to other commercial spaces in downtown Edmonds and on Highway 99. Ms. Williams responded that, for the most part, commercial spaces haven’t been hit as hard as anticipated at the beginning of the pandemic. Currently, there are two spaces available at Harbor Square, in Buildings 1 and 4.
Commissioner Johnston asked how often the drain socks are replaced, and Ms. Williams answered that it is done quarterly. The Port started the parking lot sweeping program at the beginning of 2022, and that is also done quarterly.
Commissioner Orvis asked when the atrium windows at Harbor Square would be replaced, and Ms. Williams answered that staff is proposing funding for this project in 2023. Mr. McChesney added that final design has not yet been done.
Commissioner Johnston asked if anything could be done to make the signage at Harbor Square more conforming. Mr. McChesney said the Port has been more accommodative to the street-side signs in recent years, but tenants have been put on notice to remove them. Commissioner Johnston noted that even some of the fixed signs are unsightly. The Commissioners agreed to discuss this issue at a future meeting.
Ms. Williams announced that this is the final week of Sea Notes at the Marina. This week there will be performances on Tuesday through Saturday, as well as Labor Day (Monday). All of the information is on the Port’s events page. Commissioner Johnston asked if there is a trend of what kind of music attracts the biggest crowds. Ms. Williams said she has received a lot of good feedback about the greater variety of music that has been offered this year.
Commissioner Grant pointed out that the plaque at the Mary Lou Block Plaza is a safety hazard that needs to be addressed. He saw kids playing on it, and it appears to be fairly dangerous.
CITY OF EDMONDS REPORT
There was no City of Edmonds Report.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. McChesney didn’t have any items to report.
COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Johnston reported that he met with a number of Commissioners and staff on a variety of topics over the past two weeks. Everything is being resolved to his satisfaction at this point.
Commissioner Orvis reported that he attended an Economic Alliance of Snohomish County (EASC) Coffee Chat where the topic of discussion was “second chances” and found it to be very interesting. He learned that when you hire a second-chance person, you know all of the information you are not allowed to ask. People who have participated in the program have generally got good employees who work hard. Many of them come with training, but some of them have some special needs that you have to work around, such as a requirement to check in with a probation officer. Commissioner Preston noted that, at the end of the meeting, the facilitator announced that he had previously served time in prison. Commissioner Johnston added that the presenters also stressed how loyal the second-chance employees were, in general.
Commissioner Harris observed that a public hearing on the 2023 Budget is scheduled for October 31st, which is Halloween. After some discussion, they agreed to reschedule the October 31st meeting to November 1st at 7:00 p.m.
Commissioner Preston announced that he toured the Boeing Factory as part of Boeing Family Day. They are doing some amazing things with composites for wings and fuselages.
Commissioner Preston said he volunteered to serve at the information booth at the Taste of Edmonds where he heard complimentary things about Ms. Williams, who serves as a Chamber Board Member.
Commissioner Preston advised that he and Commissioners Orvis, Grant and Johnston attended the memorial service for former Council Member Kristiana Johnson at City Park. It was well attended and very well done.
Commissioner Grant reported that he had lunch with Susan McLaughlin, City of Edmonds Development Services Director. She recognized the importance of the Port on the waterfront, and she has a lot of good ideas.
Commissioner Grant also reported that he submitted a proposal to the Washington Public Ports Association related to cyber security and received a nice note back from the interim executive director who indicated she would call him soon. They asked him to attend a government meeting on September 7th and 8th that will include representatives from a number of governmental organizations to discuss cyber security.
Commissioner Grant advised that he has attended a number of Edmonds City Council meetings, as well as his first Woodway Town Council meeting. At the Town Council’s next meeting, the fire chief from the City of Shoreline will provide a briefing.
The Commission meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
Jim Orvis, Port Commission Secretary