02 Feb Special Commission Meeting Minutes 1-10-22
PORT COMMISSION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS MINUTES OF SPECIAL MEETING
January 10, 2022
David Preston, President
Steve Johnston, Vice President
Jim Orvis, Secretary
Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Brandon Baker, Marina Director
Tina Drennan, Finance Manager
Brittany Williams, Manager of Properties and Economic Development
Neil Tibbott, Edmonds City Council
Bradford Cattle, Port Attorney
Jordan Stephens, Port Attorney
CALL TO ORDER
President Preston called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
All those in attendance participated in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON MOVED THAT THE CONSENT AGENDA BE APPROVED TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
A. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
B. APPROVAL OF DECEMBER 13, 2021 MEETING MINUTES, AS SUBMITTED
C. APPROVAL OF PAYMENTS: DECEMBER 27, 2021 IN THE AMOUNT OF $225,987.00 AND JANUARY 10, 2022 IN THE AMOUNT OF $161,865.92
D. ELEVATOR INSPECTION, MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR CONTRACT NO. 2021-405
E. APPROVAL OF WAIVER OF NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING
F. 2022 ELECTION OF OFFICERS
COMMISSIONER HARRIS SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Ms. Williams read the following email submittal from Andrea Sames, dated January 10, 2022:
“During the December 13th meeting there was discussion of the renovation of the port sea walk. My question is why don’t we use a recycled product such as Tex, Timber Tech or Wolf? These recycled products are low maintenance, they won’t split or warp and there are no splinters. The mission of the Port of Edmonds is to be a responsible environmental steward. Utilizing materials that support the environment would support the mission.”
Ms. Williams clarified that the Portwalk project is still under advisement and haven’t made a decision as to what material to use for the benches. They are considering a variety of material types (and assessing the look, cost, durability), including a composite. Ms. Sames comment is appreciated and will be taken into consideration.
There were no other public comments.
Commissioner Preston welcomed Council Members Chen and Tibbott, noting that Council Member Tibbott has been assigned as the Port Liaison for 2022.
ELECTED COMMISSIONERS OATH OF OFFICE – ADMINISTERED BY BRAD CATTLE AND NOTARIZED BY KARIN MICHAUD
Mr. McChesney announced that, earlier in the day, Port Attorney Brad Cattle officiated in the administration of the Oath of Office for Commissioners Harris and Grant. Port Attorney Jordan Stephens reported that the event went smoothly all things considered. She noted that a number of agencies are struggling with administering the Oath of Office remotely. Mr. McChesney added that officiating in the swearing in of Commissioners Harris and Grant was Mr. Cattle’s last official act as Port Counsel.
Former Commissioner Faires commented that he appreciated Mr. Cattle’s professional input, which has always been wise and forthcoming relative to aspects of the Port’s performances that might have legal implications. Personally, he said he could imagine no better compatriot to have along in his journey as a Port Commissioner than Mr. Cattle. He thanked him for his service. Commissioner Johnston noted that Mr. Cattle has served as the Port Attorney for a long time and has done a great job of keeping the Commissioners on track. He thanked him for his service, as well.
Commissioner Harris agreed and said she has really appreciated everything he brought to the Commission. Mr. Cattle was very helpful to her as she took on her new roll serving in politics as a Port Commissioner. Commissioner Preston pointed out that Frank Chmelik, General Counsel for the Washington Public Port Association, commented to him more than once that the Port of Edmonds had a great attorney, and his comments spoke volumes. Commissioner Orvis thanked Mr. Cattle for all of his support and guidance. His legal expertise related to Harbor Square issues was invaluable. On behalf of the entire Port staff, Mr. McChesney wished Mr. Cattle well. He served the Port admirably, and said the Port appreciates everything he did to assist the staff and the Port organization. He added that Ms. Stephens will be a fine replacement, and he is looking forward to working with her.
Mr. Cattle said it has been a remarkable opportunity to work with the Port Commissioners and staff. He truly appreciates the very nice gifts, as well as the kind comments. Having had the opportunity to work with a number of municipal clients over the years, the Port Commissioners and staff are a remarkable group. They are the people that make the Port of Edmonds an exceptional entity. He expressed his belief that Ms. Stephens would make the transition incredibly smooth and provide excellent counsel.
2022 COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
Commissioner Preston referred to the draft 2022 Committee Assignments and invited the Commissioners to share their final thoughts. All of the Commissioners agreed with the assignments. Commissioner Orvis pointed out that although two people would be assigned to each committee, any Commissioner could attend those meetings. Commissioner Orvis clarified that the Port Committees (Finance/Audit, Economic Development, Environmental Programs, and Public Outreach/Communications) have two members only. He reminded them that if three or more Commissioners were to attend, it would have to be advertised as a special meeting of the Commission. However, any Commissioner could attend the other meetings.
COMMISSIONER HARRIS MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE THE 2022 COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS AS STATED IN THE COMMISSION MEETING, PORT OF EDMONDS 2022 COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS. COMMISSIONER ORVIS SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUS.
RESOLUTION NUMBER 22-01 RECONFIRMING SCHEDULE AND LOCATION OF PORT OF EDMONDS COMMISSION MEETINGS
Mr. McChesney advised that this resolution would confirm the schedule and location of the Commission meetings.
COMMISSIONER JOHNSTON MOVED THAT THE COMMISSION APPROVE RESOLUTION NUMBER 22-01 RECONFIRMING THE SCHEDULE AND LOCATION OF THE PORT OF EDMONDS COMMISSION MEETINGS FOR 2022 PER THE SCHEDULE ATTACHED TO THE STAFF REPORT. COMMISSIONER HARRIS SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
NEW ADMINISTRATION AND MAINTENANCE BUILDING PROJECT UPDATE
Mr. McChesney reported that the Public Utility District’s (PUDs) energy modeling has been completed and was intended to identify the incentives the PUD would offer for a building that is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. The modeling is contingent on LEED acceptance. An evaluation by JacksonMain Architecture and RWDI is currently in progress, and it may be necessary to do some additional supplementary energy modeling in order to meet the LEED Certification requirements. Port staff inquired why the PUD’s energy model wouldn’t be sufficient to satisfy LEED Certification, but he did not receive a satisfactory answer. At this time, he cannot answer whether supplemental energy modeling will have to be done. If it is required, it will likely be a modest endeavor in the range of $8,500 in additional fees for RWDI to accomplish the task.
Mr. McChesney further reported that Salmon Safe Certification is also in progress using a two-step approach. Phase I will be a review of the current design to determine whether or not it will meet the certification requirements. At this point, the project is too late in the design process to make any substantial changes. Commissioner Orvis agreed and commented that he is unimpressed with the steps the Port has had to take to obtain LEED Certification, and he is starting to believe they are dealing with virtue signaling rather than anything meaningful. If Salmon Safe determines that additional costly changes are needed to the design in order to obtain certification, he would not be interested. Mr. McChesney agreed with that perspective, as well. He reminded them that the Port’s main focus has been LEED Silver Certification, with the idea that it would have enough documented benefit to the entire design that the project wouldn’t have any problem meeting the Safe Salmon certification requirements, as well. He advised that LEED Certification is in progress, and he would bring an updated scoresheet to the next meeting for the Commission’s information.
Mr. McChesney advised that the Building Permit application has been submitted to the City of Edmonds, and the first round of reviews has been completed. The Architect and subconsultants are currently preparing their responses and expect a resubmittal to the City by January 20th. The final permit issuance depends on how long it takes the City to respond and if there will be any additional required changes. The hope was that the Building Permit would be issued in February. However, the City’s Planning Division notified him today that, although the City’s zoning code allows for solar panels on roofs to marginally exceed the height restriction, a Conditional Use Permit will be required for the deviation. It will likely take a month to obtain the Conditional Use Permit, which means that the bid process may be delayed a bit. JacksonMain and the subconsultants are working on bid contract documents and specifications, but the work cannot be finalized until the City approves the Building and Conditional Use Permits. While he cannot give a firm date for when the City will issue the permits, everyone seems to be working in good faith to put together a good project.
Commissioner Orvis asked if Mr. McChesney foresees any problems obtaining the required Conditional Use Permit. Mr. McChesney said he doesn’t anticipate any issues. He advised that Kernen Lien, Senior Planner, has been fully apprised of the design and there have been no objections. The Conditional Use Permit is simply part of the Building Permit process. Commissioner Preston questioned why the Port wasn’t notified earlier about the Conditional Use Permit requirement. Mr. McChesney said he couldn’t answer that question. Commissioner Preston voiced frustration that the City continues to “ding” the Port for additional requirements after initial project reviews have been done and it has been determined that applications have met all of the requirements. Commissioner Orvis agreed. While the City appears to encourage projects to include solar panels, their code makes it difficult. The Port should have been notified of the Conditional Use Permit requirement when the application was initially reviewed.
Commissioner Grant commented that the solar panel exemption is specifically called out by City ordinance, and approval should be automatic as long as the project is found in compliance. He also questioned why the City did not make note of the requirement as part of its initial review. Given the late notification, Commissioner Johnston asked if the City could be persuaded to do the Building and Conditional Use Permit reviews concurrently. Mr. McChesney agreed to discuss this possibility with Mr. Lien. Commissioner Preston said some of his clients who are contractors in Edmonds have also voiced concern about permits being delayed when the City requests additional information, permits, etc. after the initial review.
To clarify for Commissioner Grant, Mr. McChesney explained that the PUD has an energy model that it outsources to a private consultant for implementation. This model was offered complimentary to the Port in order to define possible incentives and identify options. His assumption was that the PUD’s energy model would have a dual purpose and would satisfy the LEED requirement, as well. If the PUD’s energy model is not acceptable for LEED Certification, Commissioner Grant asked if LEED has criteria. Mr. McChesney answered that LEED does have criteria, which is mostly duplicative of the PUD’s model, but it is not the LEED Model done by their contractor.
Commissioner Johnston asked if Salmon Safe Certification could be a negotiated process. For example, could a certification requirement be offset by other design elements. Mr. McChesney reviewed that the Port has agreed to pursue Salmon Safe Certification, and JacksonMain was contracted to do the initial evaluation to answer the question of whether they need to go further or not. While the Port is not willing to do any major design changes at this late stage, they would be happy to consider suggestions and recommendations that would not add additional time or major expense to the project.
NORTH PORTWALK AND SEAWALL RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT UPDATE
Ms. Williams reviewed that the Port is in the planning and preparation phase of replacing the Portwalk, mainly from a structural standpoint. As part of this larger asset replacement, the Port is also taking the time to add/replace cosmetic features for public access enjoyment.
Ms. Williams emphasized that staff is still working with Makers Architecture to make some of the final design decisions related to the railing, lights, plazas, planter beds, bollards, etc. The feedback provided by the Commissioners and others at a recent Commission meeting is being considered as the discussions move forward. Many of these final decisions need to be made in order to move the Building Permit application forward.
Ms. Williams advised that, rather than removing the raker piles, CG Engineering’s preferred approach is to strengthen the existing raker piles with structural grout. CG Engineering is in the process of confirming that method is doable and the best option. Mr. McChesney explained that there are steel piles on the outboard side of the existing promenade. Some are vertical and the others are the raker piles, which are about 45 degrees inboard. There is some corrosion and the raker piles need to be repaired as part of the project. However, it is difficult to repair a galvanized steel pile that is partially submerged and partially underground. The goal is to come up with a repair method that would allow the existing raker piles to be repaired in place with rebar and grout.
Ms. Williams reviewed that the Joint Aquatic Resource Permit Application (JARPA) was submitted to the Corps of Engineers on November 2nd. Since that time, the Port has had some back and forth with the Corps to clarify which high tide line to use. After receiving input from CG Engineering and discussing the issue internally, the Port has decided to use the 10-year average as the high tide line. The Corps has notified them of staff shortages, which will likely delay their initial review and status update. Mr. McChesney emphasized that the timeline for the JARPA process is unknown at this time, and using the 10-year average for the high tide line was thought to be the most expedient for processing the permit.
Ms. Williams advised that the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) documentation was submitted at the end of October, and the public comment period ended on November 8th. No comments were received.
Ms. Williams provided the following updates on the various elements of the Building Permit application process with the City of Edmonds:
• The biological evaluation has been completed.
• The Port was recently notified that a Section 7 review would be required. For Section 7 review, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) must provide either a concurrency letter stating that they would be approving the project or a letter alluding to a future concurrence letter. Landau Associates is currently working to obtain this letter.
• The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Report has been completed.
• The Port needs to finalize the design before submitting for Architectural Design Board review.
• The Port contracted with Landau Associates to complete the Cultural Resources Report, and the subcontractor who completed the work found that the Administration Building might be eligible for listing as a historical building due mainly to its location along the waterfront. They are currently waiting for the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to make their recommendation. Commissioner Johnston pointed out that the building is more than 50 years old, and any structure more than 50 years old is subject to review as a historic building. Commissioner Preston added that he serves on the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission, and in Edmonds, placing a property on the Edmonds Register of Historic Properties is at the discretion of the property owner. Mr. McChesney commented that, even if the building is deemed historic by the State, the mitigation is to take some pictures so the building could be documented as part of the City’s history.
Commissioner Preston asked if there is any chance the State could require the Port to deem the building as historic. Mr. McChesney acknowledged that is a possibility. However, he said he doesn’t anticipate the State will put up any barriers for demolishing the building. The building is substandard in many ways, and no amount of money will renovate it to meet code.
• A chart was prepared to illustrate how all of the permits would align. The SEPA review and Shoreline Permit will be valid for 5 years with an optional 1-year extension. The Hydraulic Project Approval will be valid for 2 years, JARPA will be valid for 5 years with an optional 2-year extension, and the Building Permit will be valid for 2 years. The project management team isn’t too concerned about getting the timing right. Mr. McChesney added that it is important to understand the shelf life of the permits because they still need to perfect a financing plan that will likely involve some large grants.
• Staff will be meeting with Makers this week to work towards finalizing the design. They will meet with the Edmonds Yacht Club (EYC) Board in early February to make them aware of the project and to hear some of their concerns. The design will then be presented at an EYC membership later in February. Commissioner Preston commented that one of the EYC’s main concern has to do with disruption during project construction.
• The timeline for the Substantial Shoreline Permit and Hydraulic Project Approval are yet to be determined, but are considered to be short-term. Long-term, they are still aiming for 90% design by the end of summer and 100% design by early next year.
As the City negotiates permits with the City, Commissioner Orvis suggested that the mitigation discussion should include the fact that the project will result in a park for the public to enjoy.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Mr. McChesney reported that the snowstorm caused some interesting situations at the Port, but Port staff did an excellent job under some difficult circumstances keeping the sidewalks and parking lots open as much as possible. He particular thanked the Marina Operations and Maintenance staff who worked hard.
Mr. McChesney said the recent increase in Covid-19 infections has required the Port to re-implement some of the pandemic precautions, including Commission meetings via Zoom rather than in person. A few Port employees have tested positive, and the Port’s goal is to continue to take care of its customers while keeping the staff and public safe.
Ms. Drennan advised that Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 42.56.150 requires local elected and state-wide elected officials to complete open public meetings and public records act training within 90 days after an official takes office and then a refresher every four years. The Port is required to hold a copy of the training in its records. The training can be in-person or online. She asked if the Commissioners wanted to use the online training offered by the Attorney General’s Office or if they want to take another approach.
Commissioner Preston asked if the Port has discussed options for training with the Port Attorney. Ms. Stephens said there hasn’t been any recent discussions relative to training, but she would be happy to provide the training as directed by the Port. She noted that free online training is available from the Association of Washington Cities, as well as the Attorney General’s Office. Commissioner Grant advised that he recently completed the training. The remaining Commissioners agreed to utilize the online training option. Ms. Drennan agreed to research when the Commissioners last participated in the training and to send out links to the Attorney General’s Office training.
COMMISSIONER’S COMMENTS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Commissioner Harris announced that she would participate in an Economic Alliance of Snohomish County (EASC) meeting on January 11th. Commissioners Johnston and Preston said they would also participate in that meeting.
Commissioner Orvis reported that he attended the EASC’s Legislative Update where Snohomish County Public Works Director Kelly Snyder, Washington State Representative Emily Wicks (30th District), and Washington State Senator Keith Wagoner (39th District) all spoke. The Public Works Director talked about a transportation package, but with Senator Hobbs’ recent appointment as Secretary of State, a lot of the driving force is gone from the transportation package. Snohomish County is particularly interested in funding for Highway 2. Representative Wicks talked about affordable housing, equity and inclusion, and she wants projects that address human resources and social justice issues. Senator Wagoner is still excited about getting transportation money for Highway 2. Public safety was a topic of discussion, and legislators are owning up to the fact that some things need to change because of increases in crime and the impact on police officers. The consistent topic of discussion centered on the large amount of Federal money that the legislature is excited about spending, and there may be opportunities for the Port to receive grant funding for its North Portwalk and Seawall Project.
Commissioner Grant thanked Port staff for their assistance in helping him settle in as the newest Port Commissioner. He looks forward to his new roll as a Commissioner. He reported that he attended a recent City of Edmonds City Council meeting, where Council Member Olson was elected President and Council Member Buckshnis as President Pro Tem. The Council had a good discussion about virtual versus hybrid meetings, and he sensed they were going to consider a hybrid meeting option, even it if doesn’t happen in the immediate future. They had an extremely long but healthy dialogue on streateries, with numerous motions. He welcomed Council Member Tibbott as the new City Council Liaison to the Port.
Commissioner Preston requested an update on the Seattle Boat Show. Although the Port is not participating this year, there may be opportunities to plug into the event in some manner. Mr. Baker said the Port is currently running a travelift special for the workyard called, “Beat the Boat Show.” Outside of that, there may be an opportunity to use some of the Port’s digital advertising dollars to promote guest moorage and get reservations rolling. He invited the Commissioners to share their ideas with staff. Commissioner Preston asked if the boat show would include a virtual element. Mr. Baker said the last he heard the boat show was a full go, but he isn’t sure if that has changed as a result of the new surge in Covid-19.
Commissioner Preston announced that Port Day is scheduled for January 25 and will be conducted virtually. He also announced that Mr. Osterman has sent out information on virtual IT security training, which the Commissioners must complete by January 25th. He commented that he has received a large number of suspect emails, and other Commissioners reported that they have received suspect emails, as well. Mr. McChesney cautioned them to be very careful about emails that look good on the surface and might even be plausible.
Commissioner Preston said he would work with staff to set up a time for a Commission retreat as early as late February.
Commissioner Preston announced that the Commission would adjourn into an Executive Session at 4:35 p.m. pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(c) to consider the minimum price at which real estate will be offered for sale or lease, as public knowledge could cause a likelihood of decreased price. He 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. He further advised that no action would be taken after the Executive Session.
The Executive Session was adjourned at 5:00 p.m., and the special meeting was reconvened and subsequently adjourned at 5:01 p.m.
The Commission meeting was adjourned at 5:01 p.m.
Port Commission Secretary