March 8, 2016
The Port of Grays Harbor Commission Meeting for March 8, 2016 was called to order at 9:00 a.m.
Art Blauvelt, Legal Counsel, led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Those in attendance at the meeting were as follows:
COMMISSION AND STAFF
Jack Thompson - Commissioner
Stan Pinnick - Commissioner
Gary Nelson - Executive Director
Arthur Blauvelt - Legal Counsel
Mary Nelson - Director of Finance & Administration
Mike Johnson - Contract & Project Manager
Randy Lewis - Director of Environmental and Engineering Services
Leonard Barnes - Deputy Executive Director
Marisa Yauch - Executive Administrative Assistant
Robin Leraas - Westport Marina Manager
Alissa Shay - Manager of Business Development
Shannon Anderson - Business & Trade Development Asst.
Seth Taylor - Marine Terminals Manager
Kayla Dunlap - Public Affairs Manager
Lisa Benn - Accounting Manager
Chris Hunt - IT Manager
Ray Brown - GHGOP
Arnie Martin - GH Audubon
Tammy Domike - CCH
Frank Gordon - GHC Commissioner
Linda Orgel - CCH
Dave Haviland - Jodesha
Rob Bearden - Westport Mayor
Dru Garson - GGHI
Lisa Scott - City of Aberdeen
Jessie Winkler - USACE
Kimberly Anderson - USACE
Items discussed and action taken where required is as follows:
1. By motion made by Commissioner Pinnick, seconded by Commissioner Thompson and unanimously approved, the Commission adopted the Minutes of February 9, 2016 Regular Commission Meeting as recorded in the Minutes Book No. 19 on pages 189 through 196 inclusive.
1. By motion made by Commissioner Pinnick, seconded by Commissioner Thompson, the Commission unanimously approved for payment those Payroll Vouchers issued February 19, 2016 and March 4, 2016, ACH/Wire Transfers No. 99900646 through and including No. 99900658 and General Disbursement Vouchers No. 90643 through and including No. 90855 for payment in the amount of $2,096,401.56.
Grays Harbor Gateway Feasibility Study
Leonard Barnes introduced Dru Garson of GGHI and Lisa Scott from the City of Aberdeen to present on the Grays Harbor Gateway Center feasibility study.
The design plans which have been released are a placeholder; many things could change between the plans and the final outcome. The idea was to incorporate new with old in an effort to create an inviting location at the entrance of town. The center is designed to encourage traffic heading to either of the beaches to stop in and get information on all of the opportunities the harbor has to offer.
Gary Nelson asked if the building was going to be Leed certified. Yes, Mr. Garson said the intention was to be certified at the Silver level.
GGHI and the City of Aberdeen are expecting this will be a significant contribution to the economy. Information will be available to people passing through 24 hours a day 7 days a week and will be manned for personal service during set hours. The intention is to bring people in and tell them the story of Grays Harbor. There will be sponsorship opportunities for local hotels and other local businesses. The design was created with exhibit space and flex space that could be transformed temporarily into a large meeting and events location. A gift shop and an outdoor plaza for kids and pets to take a break from driving will also be included. The hope is for this development to encourage like-minded businesses in the area. Small business development assistance will also be available at the center.
The City recently purchased the 5 parcel spaces used in the design around Fuller Way, E. Wishkah and S. F Street in downtown Aberdeen. The plan is to demolish all of the structures except for The Pour House which will be relocated. They intend to keep F Street open to vehicle traffic between the parking area and the visitor’s center.
This optimal location was chosen because it came before the traffic splits to Westport. They wanted to be sure to catch all tourists coming from the East and this location will allow this need to be met. The City is working on funding grants in hopes that the project can be completed deft free. Upon completion of the structure they expect revenues to generate approximately $24,851 net operating income annually based on similar successful projects in nearby cities.
Commissioner Pinnick asked if there will be availability for overnight parking. No, the city does not allow this. At this point they are thinking this will not be a place for RV’s to stay overnight, but they are keeping that option open.
This is a Grays Harbor County project with many partnerships; not only the City of Aberdeen. The city will not own the structure, but they will likely remain owners of the land. Every city in the county will be represented, and a live TV feed for each city is expected. Costs for the entire project are based on the feasibility study as it stands now.
Commissioner Pinnick asked about the timeline for the project. They hope to have the engineering and design complete by the end of 2016 so they can be ready to start construction in 2017 and open in 2018. They are excited to have a place to showcase all that Grays Harbor has to offer educating the locals as well as visitors.
Deeper Draft and Operations & Maintenance Update
Gary Nelson introduced Jessie Winkler and Kimberly Anderson from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Ms. Winkler reported on the Grays Harbor channel deepening project slated to begin in 2016. The project will deepen the channel from -36 ft MLLW to -38 ft MLLW as congressionally authorized. In FY15/FY16 $15 million in Federal funds were budgeted for this project. The Port is responsible for the remaining 25% to complete the project. The Corps plans to award the contract for this work in May, with work slated to begin in fall of 2016. Exact dates for work are flexible at this time to allow for tribal fishing dates to be set.
Pt. Chehalis revetment repair is expected to begin in September of 2016. Winter storms compromised the revetment which required emergency repair work. In addition to this emergency work recently completed, a permanent restoration project has been funded and will be awarded in August of 2016 to protect the integrity of the structure. For this project $1.6 million in Federal funding was awarded in FY16 and no cost share is required.
Breakwater repair at Westhaven Marina is also scheduled for completion in 2016. $860,000 in Federal funds were awarded for this project which is scheduled for award in August. The work for this project is expected to begin in September of 2016 and be completed in December of 2016.
Following this project Marina entrance channel dredging is anticipated in FY17 in coordination with the Port/State funded marina dredging.
Commissioner Pinnick inquired on erosion issues at Washaway Beach and Ocean Shores; will the Corps be looking to provide assistance in these areas. Ms. Winkler stated that the Corps only gets involved if there is public infrastructure at risk which is why they have provided assistance in Ocean Shores.
Commissioner Thompson asked if the issues in Westport may fall under FEMA since they are not threatening public infrastructure at this point. Ms. Winkler stated that they are not familiar enough with the FEMA requirements to know if this would be an option for the erosion at Westport.
Gary Nelson commended the Corps for educating Port staff and local officials on projects that do fall within their authority and helping with other ideas when projects do not fall in their guidelines. They have been helpful in many situations the Port and local cities have encountered in recent years.
Vessel Salvage and Recovery at Westport Marina
On December 6, 2015 the F/V Persistence sank while at Float 11 in the Westport Marina. Initially it appeared that the vessel’s owner would take care of refloating and removing the vessel, but on December 21st, 2015 it became clear that direct action from the Port would be required for removal of the vessel.
This is the largest vessel that has sunk in the marina and proved difficult to raise. The Port worked closely with other agencies to ensure maximum financial assistance in removal and disposal of the vessel. This was a labor intensive process with a few setbacks along the way, but the vessel was fully raised on February 12th and moved to the boat launch on February 18th, 2016
The boat was inspected once removed from the water and found to have continual leaks in the hull planks where caulking had failed. There were three small electric pumps found, only one of which was working. These were apparently used to keep ahead of the water in the vessel when at the dock; the divers estimated the boat would only float for about 4 hours without pumps running.
The full costs for the project are not finalized but below are the estimates for the entire operation. U.S. Coast Guard opened their emergency funding to remove fuel in the tanks they could reach. The Department of Ecology opened their funding to remove the remainder of the fuel which was removed after the vessel was out of the water. The Department of Natural Resources has agreed to reimburse up to 90% of the costs of disposal only. Marina staff will follow up and submit the necessary forms to obtain reimbursement for eligible costs.
Express Diving/Morris & Morris Construction - $47,957.00
Brumfield Construction – Initial Mobilizations - $14,367.52
Brumfield Construction – Removal from the water & testing - $15,732.50
Brumfield Construction – Demo and Disposal - $23,902.50
Commissioner Pinnick asked about the status of the dock. Mr. Lewis reported there was minimal damage to the dock; nothing permanent.
Commissioner Thompson inquired on the status of the owner. Robin Leraas stated that the statute says we can bill the owner, but there may not be any assets to go after. The owner cooperated by signing a waiver to allow us to remove the vessel. The lender on the boat also signed away their rights to the loan funds owed.
2015 Friends Landing Report
Alissa Shay presented an annual review of Friends Landing for 2015 and an outlook for what to expect in 2016. Some of the completed projects for 2015 included: adoption of new reservation policies, repairs to trails, and updates to Yelp and TripAdvisor websites where users review their experiences online to let others know what to expect. The website has also been updated and some kiosks have been restored. Area wide lighting updates have been made for high efficiency, expecting a cost savings overall of about $1,000 annually.
Data for annual revenues in 2015 shows there is room for additional usage of the camping facility and it is being marketed accordingly. Camping begins March 15th and runs through November 15th.
The caretaker residence has been fully replaced and a window is being set up so that guests will no longer need to enter the residence to conduct business. The residence should be complete on April 1st.
Commissioner Pinnick asked if there was a lot of water damage at Friends Landing this year. Ms. Shay stated there was not too much damage, fewer issues than last year.
Public Information Report
Kayla Dunlap reported that a new scope and budget for the project expansions have been delivered to REG and Westway for review.
For the 6th year in a row the Port is planning to invite all 786 4th graders in Grays Harbor County to participate in the tours which will be held in May. The Port will partner with the Grays Harbor Community Foundation and the Gladys Phillips Cultural Tours grant to provide transportation for the tours at no cost to the schools.
Curriculum packets will be delivered to the schools to provide information about the Port addressing grade level standards in vocabulary, history, math and spelling. The packets will be delivered to the schools by mid-April to allow time for teachers to cover the material prior to their visit.
Staff will be developing the summer public tour program and tour in the next few weeks. Tour dates will be released and reservations accepted in June.
Leonard Barnes announced in February 2016 the Port handled six deep water ships which resulted in 187,433.198 MT of cargo. YTD import/export cargo totals 366,556.98 MT and total ship calls are 11 ships and one barge.
Mr. Barnes mentioned the trend heading in the direction of ships taking multiple products.
Commissioner Pinnick asked if we can expect at least one log ship every quarter. Yes, the target right now is one ship every 6-8 weeks. The next log ship is expected the first week of April.
Commissioner Pinnick wanted to acknowledge that we have two elected officials with us today; Frank Gordon, GH County Commissioner and Rob Bearden, Mayor of Westport.
Arnie Martin of Hoquiam did not understand the first item in the public information report given by Kayla Dunlap. Ms. Dunlap stated that Westway and REG are each getting a new scope and budget for a path forward. They will move forward with potential project expansions separately.
Rob Bearden, Mayor of Westport commented on the need for a haul out at the Westport Marina. The recent vessel sinking in the marina may have been pulled out more easily if there was a haul out at the marina.
He also commented on parking at the Marina area and the need for a better place for fishermen to park long term when they are going on the water for days, sometimes weeks. If there were a parking lot away from the immediate marina area this would make it easier for day users.
Mayor Bearden also receives quite a few complaints about the crab pot storage in various parts of town. They are not always cleaned properly, causing quite an odor for tourists and attracting rodents. People find them to be an eye sore and he is passing on concerns from local citizens.
Frank Gordon, GH County Commissioner commented on the funding for dredging off the boat basin. He stated it does look like half a million dollars this year.
Gary Nelson commented on his appreciation for Mr. Gordon doing a great job of promoting the Marina dredging this year; the Port appreciates the support.
Gary Nelson went over a few dates for upcoming events
• March 10 – Pilotage meeting in Seattle
• March 9 – Mary Nelson will attend AAPA Finance Seminar in San Diego
• March 16 – Grays Harbor County disaster workshop
• March 13-17 – Kayla Dunlap and Stan Pinnick will attend the PNWA Mission to D.C.
• March 28 – Nebraska Soy Bean Tour
There being no further business to come before the Commission, the Regular Meeting recessed at 10:34 a.m.
The Board then went into Executive Session to consider the acquisition, sale or lease of real estate and to discuss with Port’s legal counsel matters relating to agency enforcement actions, litigation or potential litigation. No action to be taken during Executive Session. It was announced that the Executive Session would last two hours.
The Executive Session ended at 12:30 p.m., and the Regular Meeting adjourned at that time.