Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum

Action Taken at November 1, 2022 Meeting

Shall the commission:
124. Change the permitted repayment option on deferred compensation loans? Port employees can take loans from their individual retirement accounts. Resolution 1215 was passed at the 10/4/2005 meeting, vote #94; it allowed a loan to be repaid via personal payments or a payroll deduction. When a loan is delinquent, it could jeopardize the tax-deferred eligibility of the retirement plan. The Port of Bellingham has decided to require all loans to be repaid by payroll deduction, reducing the risk of loans becoming delinquent. 12072/Consent Agenda B (Resolution 1215-A) Approved 3-0

125. Authorize the executive director to accept a $3,360,000 state grant for the Sea K Fish site? The site falls under the Model Toxics Control Act. The site is in the marine industrial area of Blaine Harbor. The port has owned the property since the mid-1940s and the state of Washington owns the adjacent aquatic lands. An environmental investigation was approved at the 5/21/2019 meeting, vote #62. It confirmed the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in the soil and groundwater, which is suspected to be associated with historical commercial activities such as underground storage tanks, petroleum distribution, and fish processing; it appears petroleum is migrating into the marine environment. The grant will help cover completion of a remedial investigation/feasibility study, a cleanup action plan, monitoring plans and permitting for the final cleanup. Total cleanup costs are estimated at $8,850,000. (12073/Consent Agenda C) Approved 3-0

126. Modify a lease with NW Explorations for premises located at the Marina Square Building? NW Exploration is a luxury yacht company with approximately 30 employees. It offers private charters, guided flotillas, maintenance/repairs and a brokerage department. The company is leasing suites 700, 704, 712, and 714 located in Marina Square and Squalicum Esplanade. This modification will remove 704 Coho Way from the lease. The monthly rent will be reduced from $7,833 to $6,858. (12074/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0

Action Taken at November 15, 2022 Meeting

Shall the commission:
127. Update the Public Space Use Policy and Procedures document? The document provides a uniform policy for everyone visiting or using port facilities. It covers parks and open spaces, downtown waterfront facilities, conference rooms and event facilities for public and private activities. Food truck operation will be updated to ensure owners are present and operate for the entire span of business hours, and that trucks not be left overnight or on unscheduled days. Some other refinements have been made in the document. (12103/Consent Agenda C) Approved 3-0

128. Authorize the executive director to sign documents for the sale of 19.22 acres and a 20,000-square-foot building to the Teal-Jones Group of Surrey, B.C.? At the 8/3/2004 meeting, vote #87, the port signed a five-year lease with Teal Jones Lumber Services, a Washington corporation. The lease was for five buildings on five acres at the Sumas Industrial Park with the option to purchase the property. The lease was modified at the 1/4/2022 meeting, vote #7; the property was impacted by the November 2021 flood, with equipment damaged or lost. The company received a one-month rent credit worth $22,890. The company employs between 25 and 50 workers at the Sumas plant. The property and building will be purchased for $3,919,500; approximately$280,500 has been deducted from the sale price for environmental cleanup. (12104/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0

129. Modify a lease with Fairhaven Industrial Marine Repair? At the 5/4/2021 meeting, vote #57, a 10-year land lease was approved for approximately 16.2 acres: consisting of 12.5 acres of state property managed by the port and 3.7 acres of port property. The lease was also for marine rails, piers and building, cranes, a fabrication shop and a fleet of marine vessels. It was estimated that the business would bring 20 full-time jobs with additional jobs over time. The rent for the first five-year period will be approximately $4.1 million: it will terminate on 4/30/2031. At the 8/9/2021 meeting, vote #99, the commission voted to modify the lease to cover dock fueling, utilities and services and reconfiguration of stormwater improvement. On 8/30/2022, a default notice for a failure to pay rent was sent to Fairhaven Industrial Marine Repair. This modification requires the full balance ($255,292) to be paid by 11/15/2022. (12105/Consent Agenda E) Approved 3-0

130. Authorize the executive director to accept a $4 million federal grant to build broadband infrastructure? Grant funds are from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The port applied for grant in partnership with ISP PogoZone. Whatcom County was also awarded a $1 million grant through the Economic Development Investment Board for a total of $5 million for the North Ferndale area, east of Lake Terrell. The funds will construct 30 miles of fiber, passing approximately 1,100 homes and 25 businesses A majority of the fiber optic lines will be placed on utility poles, and, where necessary, underground. Construction will begin in 2022/2023 and be completed in 2024. (12106/Consent Agenda F) Approved 3-0

131. Adopt the 2023 strategic budget? (Public hearings held at November 1 and November 15 meetings.) The regular property tax levy for 2023 will result in approximately $7,898,171 in taxes collected by the port. The property tax increase is $78,011 over 2022. 12110/Action Item 1 (Resolution 1404) Approved 3-0 

132. Adopt the 2023 property tax levy? (Public hearings held at November 2 and November 15 meetings.) The estimated levy rate will be $0.1501 per thousand of valuation. The 2022 levy rate was $0.1803 per thousand of valuation. 12110/Action Item 1 (Resolution 1405) Approved 3-0

A memorandum on the following three votes ran 109 pages and they were combined into a single commission vote. Whatcom Watch has separated them so they are easier to understand.

133. Authorize the executive director to terminate an option to purchase property with Millworks LLC and Mercy Housing Northwest? At the 9/7/2021 meeting, vote #106, the commission approved an option for Mercy Housing Northwest of Seattle and The Millworks of Bellingham to purchase approximately 3.3 acres in the Waterfront District. The property is the former Lignin warehouse parcel that borders Chestnut Street, Cornwall Avenue and Laurel Street. A housing covenant allows the port to sell the property for below market value. The fair market value is $3,593,700 and purchase price is $2,005,067. The mixed-use development consists of two projects with one or more buildings. (12108/Action Item 2) Approved 3-0

134. Authorize the executive director to sign a new option with Millworks LLC to purchase property in the Waterfront District? The purchase is for approximately 49,613 square feet of property in the Lignin parcel. The purchase price for Millworks LLC is $1,245,325 and the total price is $2,005,067. (12108/Action Item 2) Approved 3-0

135. Authorize the executive director to sign a new option with Mercy Housing Northwest to purchase property in the Waterfront District? The purchase is for approximately 93,998 square feet of property in the Lignin parcel. Mercy Housing is prepared to start construction on an 83-unit affordable housing project with seven classrooms for early learning in mid-December 2022. The purchase price for Mercy Housing is $759,742 and the total price is $2,005,067. (12108/Action Item 2) Approved 3-0   



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