May 10, 2016
The Port of Grays Harbor Commission Meeting for May 10, 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
Chuck Caldwell - 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
Ross Read - Operations Manager
Chris Hunt - IT Manager
Bob Esposito - Hoquiam Private Citizen
Fred Rapp - ReachOne
Bill Douglas - SSA
Vicki Cummings - GHCOG
Arnie Martin - GH Audubon
Ray Brown - GHGOP
Fred Goheen - JSC
Linda Orgel - CCH
Dave Haviland - Jodesha
Al Smith - Candidate, County Commissioner
Marc Horton - WPC
Items discussed and action taken where required is as follows:
1. By motion made by Commissioner Caldwell, seconded by Commissioner Pinnick and unanimously approved, the Commission adopted the Minutes of April 12, 2016 Regular Commission Meeting as recorded in the Minutes Book No. 19 on pages 205 through 212 inclusive.
2. By motion made by Commissioner Pinnick, seconded by Commissioner Caldwell and unanimously approved, the Commission adopted the Minutes of May 3, 2016 Special Commission Meeting as recorded in the Minutes Book No. 19 on pages 213 through 215 inclusive.
1. By motion made by Commissioner Caldwell, seconded by Commissioner Pinnick, the Commission unanimously approved for payment those Payroll Vouchers issued April 20, 2016 and May 5, 2016, ACH/Wire Transfers No. 99900673 through and including No. 99900683 and General Disbursement Vouchers No. 91075 through and including No. 91284 for payment in the amount of $1,748,853.57.
Scenic Byway SR 109 Project by Vision 2020
Alissa Shay reported on the scenic byway project that has been in the works for a number of years. She introduced Vicki Cummings from the Grays Harbor Council of Governments to touch on the history of this project and where it stands today.
Planning for this project began in 2009 which included cities from Hoquiam to Taholah and the final plan included 35 stakeholders. The signage was to include history and welcome visitors to the area. Unfortunately, in 2011 the Federal funding awarded was lost because the grant ceased to exist. The project was at risk of being scrapped until Vision 2020 stepped in to see if they could use the design work and finish the project. For a fraction of the price they were able to work with GHCOG to complete the project. Vision 2020 worked diligently to align with local funding partners and brought the project to completion. Vision 2020 came together to make the project affordable for local contributors, and board members went out of their way to research locations and make sure the project was going to work. A celebration for the project will be held tonight, May 10th, at Seabrook. This will be a collaborative celebration of the scenic byway signage completion and the opening of the new Frontager’s Pizza in Seabrook where all are welcome.
Friends Landing Updates
Alissa Shay went over a few of the latest updates at Friends Landing. A new residence for the caretaker was completed and upgraded to allow transactions to take place without requiring that the campers enter the building; this can now be done through an office in the residence with a window. Another improvement was various benches that a group of Eagle Scouts replaced around the area of the lake and trails. One big upgrade that aligns Friends Landing with the amenities of other RV parks is the addition of free Wi-Fi to the area.
A safety project is in the works for the assessment of the pedestrian bridge. Tests have shown that structurally the bridge and pilings are in good shape. There are some small enhancements that could improve the structure which are being explored.
The Port is hoping to address a couple of additional enhancements through help of a local RCO grant application. One of the requests is for improvements to the North Shore trail. Some stretches have tree roots coming through the asphalt and would benefit from being dug up for root removal and covered over again. Tree roots in this area are always difficult to deal with and make it tricky for people walking or in wheel chairs to enjoy the foot path. Another item sought is new playground equipment for the children’s area. The equipment is weathered and could use safety upgrades. The grant application has been submitted, but it will be a few months before the Port is informed on the funding outcome.
Security Grant Application FY16
Mike Johnson reported that the Port is applying for funding through the Department of Homeland Security under the FY16 Port Security Grant Program. Security items based on needs and suggestions from the Coast Guard were compiled for added security. The grant application was submitted April 25th and the Port expects to hear by mid-August if funding has been awarded. The Port has received funds through this program in the past, and is optimistic this request can be successful though the format for the way these funds are awarded has recently changed. In the past, there was separate funding for smaller to medium sized ports in the U.S., and another category for very large ports. The new format is one sum of money with competition coming from the largest to the smallest ports, so this may be more difficult to attain. Staff has submitted an application for various surveillance camera upgrades throughout Port property. The total cost of the project applied for is $328,603. If funds are awarded DHS would fund 75% or $246,452 and the Port’s 25% match would be $82,151.
Public Information Report
Kayla Dunlap reported that the regular legislative session was set to wrap on March 9th, but was extended to March 29th. One outcome of note for the Port was funding of $200,000 toward Westport Marina Dredging.
Fourth grade tours for all students in the county will begin this week on May 12th. Over 700 students plus teachers and chaperones will be participating. Following these tours, an announcement for public tour dates of Port facilities will be released in the next couple of weeks.
In a continued effort to provide information in the community, we have scheduled community outreach meetings with district 1 beginning next week.
Leonard Barnes announced in April 2016 the Port handled eight deep water ships and one barge which resulted in 161,879.696 MT of cargo. YTD import/export cargo totals 661,975.136 MT and total ship calls are 25 ships and 3 barges.
It has been a very diverse month of exports: biodiesel, logs, soybean meal, DDGS, soybeans, cedar wood chips, autos, OH-OW cargo and canola oil.
Arnie Martin of Hoquiam thanked the Port, and specifically Shannon Anderson, for another successful year at the Shorebird Festival. They have decided to hold the event one day earlier next year in hopes of better tides to bring the birds closer to shore for viewing for longer periods of time. Overall it was a very successful event and they are thankful for the continued support of the Port.
Fred Rapp reported that his business, ReachOne, had been purchased by Rainier Connect which will allow more opportunities for service. There will be increasing internet speeds and a new local sales person will be in the area.
Ray Brown from Westport spoke on a couple of articles recently written in regards to a sea lion traveling far up the Chehalis River and into Oakville. He found some eye opening facts stating the population of sea lions is about 300,000 and they are each about 600 pounds. He estimates this would mean that in a 24 hour period they could be eating 3 million salmon. He believes that sea lions are overpopulated and they could consume over a billion salmon in a season. In light of the recent cutbacks to local fishing restricting fishermen to one Chinook and no Coho while the sea lions consume large populations is concerning. He mentioned that the Elwha Dam was removed to increase salmon populations, but now they are at risk by the increased sea lion numbers.
Action Item No. 1
Mike Johnson reported that they are ready to call for bids on Contract No. 1872, Terminal Maintenance Dredging. This work is needed to continue safe berth depths for cargo loading. Each of the four berths is estimated for a different amount of removal between 20,000 and 60,000 cubic yards. Funds for this project will come from the 2016 Operating Budget which is estimated at about 1.2 million. The work will be completed between July 15 and September 30, 2016 and the balance of the work will begin after December 31, 2016 to be fully completed by February 15, 2017.
Motion to authorize the Executive Director to Call for Bids on Contract No. 1872, Terminal Maintenance Dredging, was made by Commissioner Pinnick and seconded by Commissioner Caldwell. Motion passed with a vote of 3-0.
Action Item No. 2
Randy Lewis reported that two of the Port’s Warehouse buildings were in need of roof refurbishment. Warehouses I and J will be seeking repairs as recommended by an inspector who assessed a number of Port warehouse roofs recently. There are a couple of different methods that will be used, there is a liquid membrane system that can be installed over an existing roof to coat and seal it, and a standing seam full metal roof that can replace a failed roof system. The recommendation for Warehouse J is for the liquid membrane sealing. For Warehouse I there is extensive rusting and the roof is in such poor shape that they liquid system would not work. This roof is a candidate for a standing seam roof, but funds are not available for a full roof replacement. The solution, in order to get another 10 to 15 years out of the roof will be replacing panels with a new metal fastened roof system for a cost savings of over $90,000 from a full roof replacement.
Motion to authorize the Executive Director to enter into an agreement with The Garland Company, Inc., for roof repairs was made by Commissioner Caldwell and seconded by Commissioner Pinnick. Motion passed with a vote of 3-0.
Action Item No. 3
Leonard Barnes reported on an amendment to Lease Agreement No. 1019 with SSA Pacific, Inc.
SSA has been a tenant with the Port since 1998. The current lease term began in 2006 and this will be the second lease term extension. This will extend their lease for one year to June 30, 2017 with no other changes. The amendment will have no fiscal impact.
Motion to authorize the Executive Director to amend Lease Agreement No. 1019 with SSA Pacific, Inc. was made by Commissioner Pinnick and seconded by Commissioner Caldwell. Motion passed with a vote of 3-0.
No public comment
Commissioner Pinnick noted that the Commissioners had time to review the Westport Marina Tariff documents in their entirety. They found no recommended changes and were ready to approve the action item from the April 12, 2016 meeting.
Motion to authorize the Executive Director to place in effect the Westport Marina Tariff updates was made by Commissioner Pinnick and seconded by Commissioner Caldwell. Motion passed with a vote of 3-0.
Gary Nelson went over a few dates for upcoming events.
• May 10 – Westport SMP workshop – McCausland Hall, Westport
• May 11-13 – WPPA Spring Meeting – Skamania, WA
• May 12 – Pilotage meeting in Seattle
• May 12 – School tours begin
• May 24 – Montesano outreach presentation
Randy Lewis mentioned that next month the Port will be updating the six year TIP plan.
Mr. Nelson mentioned that the US Army Corps has received bids and there is an apparent low bidder for the deeper draft project. The Port is ready to submit the last of the 5 million required to fulfill our 25% financial responsibility of the project. The Port finance department will send the remaining 2.3 million today, then it will be two or three weeks by the time the contract is in process.
Mary Nelson mentioned the annual audit of the Port was conducted and the exit interview for the audit will be Monday, June 13th at 9:30 a.m.
President Thompson called for a 5 minute recess at 9:30 a.m.
Meeting resumed at 9:35 a.m.
Mary Nelson presented a workshop on the 1st quarter 2016 financials. The review included operations, capital projects and debt service. Operating revenues have been down since 2014, a record year. The Port finance department continues to listen and read the market in advance, making adjustments. Working closely with tenants, business expectations are assessed quarterly and adjusted accordingly. A 16% drop overall in expectation has been adjusted to the financial outcome for 2016 resulting from a very conservative approach which does not include any business that is not confirmed.
Various capital projects have been postponed to save money in the budget, but one large prioritized project was the funds needed for the deeper draft dredging. The Port match requirement came in half a million dollars higher than expected, but will be paid in full today to ensure the project will begin by the end of 2016. Though revenues have been lower than expected in 2016, there is anticipated improvement in 2017.
Commissioner Pinnick asked that Ms. Nelson highlight projects that the Port is committed to complete and those that are on the list but are able to be postponed to a later date if needed.
There being no further business to come before the Commission, the Regular Meeting recessed at 11:08 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 one hour.
The Executive Session ended at 12:15 p.m., and the Regular Meeting adjourned at that time.