Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum

Action Taken at November 7, 2023 Meeting

Shall the commission:
96. Reallocate $165,000 in the 2023 budget from the I&J Waterway cleanup to the Westman Marine site in Blaine? The 2023 budget for the I&J Waterway site is amended to $11,735,351 and the Westman Marine site to $938,436. (13107/Consent Agenda B) Approved 3-0

97. Modify a lease with AMBK Waterfront? At the 5/18/2021 meeting, vote #67, the commission approved a 50-year land lease with AMBK LLC (a real estate development and investment company focused on medical office, industrial and land development) for property at 1411 Roeder Avenue. AMBK purchased the building on the property from Harbor Enterprises for $65,000. The lease allowed the exterior of the ground floor to be repaired, the second floor to be redeveloped into residential units and a third floor can be added. This amendment requires tenant improvements to be completed on or before 5/30/2027 and a no-rent period that began on 4/1/2022 and ended on 9/30/2023 be extended for seven months to 4/30/2024.  (13108/Consent Agenda C) Approved 3-0

98. Authorize the executive director to update the use guidelines for Fisherman’s Pavilion? At the 4/23/2019 meeting, vote #54, the commission approved a contract for the design and cost estimates for the proposed Squalicum Harbor Fisherman’s Pavilion. The 12,000-square-foot building will serve as a covered work space in the winter and an additional event space during the summer. At the 10/20/2020 meeting, the commission increased the budget to   $2,500,000 and lowered the size to a 9,000-square-foot prefabricated metal building. This update will allow for community event rentals from 6/1 to 1/1 and for net mending and gear repair from 1/2 to 5/31. (13109/Action Item #1) Approved 3-0

99. Authorize the executive director to sign a $3,122,809 settlement and mutual release agreement for a portion of the Yorkston Oil site? The port has owned the Yorkston property at 2801 Roeder Avenue since 1931 and leased the site to: Petroleum Navigation Company (1931 to 1945), Whatcom Petroleum Company (1931 to 1936), Signal Oil Company/Standard Oil of Exxon Company USA (1975 to 1977) and Yorkston Oil Company (1977 to 2019), California (1937 to 1967), Humble Oil and Refining Company (1975 to 1977). An environmental site assessment completed in 2002 determined that the bulk fueling activities resulted in petroleum and hydrocarbons in the soil and groundwater that required action under the state Model Toxics Control Act. At the 12/7/2010 meeting, vote #178, the commission authorized an agreement with Yorkston Oil Company, Thomas Yorkston, Exxon Mobil and Chevron U.S.A. for a remedial investigation at 2801 Roeder Avenue. At the 5/21/2019 meeting, vote #64, and 6/21/2022 meeting, vote #81, the agreement was amended to completion site characterization and remedial analysis. Under this settlement, the parties will make a total payment of $3,122,809 to a trust account for remedial action. It will include excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil, removal or capping of buried and abandoned pipelines, and site restoration. (13110/Action Item #2) Approved 3-0

Action Taken at Nov. 16 Special Meeting

Shall the commission:
100. Increase the budget by $4,300,000 for phase 3 of the main pier repairs at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal? The cost to dredge 22,000 cubic yards of sediment is roughly $5.5 million. Contaminates in the water include mercury phenolic compounds and dioxin furans. Four bids were received: American Construction of Tacoma was the low bidder at $22.4 million and the high bid was $30.3 million. Phase 3 is for dredging ($8,482,600), repairs at the south terminal and replacement of the heavy lift area ($18,618,474), increasing the total from $22,801,074 to $27,101,074. (13131/Action Item #1) Approved 3-0

Action Taken at November 21, 2023 Meeting

Shall the commission:
101. Terminate a lease with the Board of Regents of the University of Washington? On 2/1/2022, the port entered into a lease with the board of regents for suite 26 at the Harbor Mall expiring on 1/31/2025. Their Washington Sea Grant program needs more space — subject to the port’s approval, they will be subleasing space at the Marina Square Building from the Whatcom Working Waterfront Foundation. (13127/Consent Agenda B) Approved 3-0

102. Authorize the executive director to sign a $179,850 agreement with Whatcom County Fire District #8? The agreement includes a CPI (consumer price index) escalation of 4.6 percent. The fire district will provide fire protection, emergency medical services, and crash fire rescue support for the Bellingham airport. The port has had an agreement with fire district #8 since 1987. This agreement runs from 1/1/2024 through 12/31/2024. (13128/Consent Agenda C) Approved 3-0

103. Authorize the executive director to approve payment of $82,432 to the state of Washington for two aquatic land leases? The state issued two aquatic land leases to Georgia-Pacific for operation of the treatment lagoon. Since 6/30/2008, the port has been using the treatment lagoon and pipeline system to manage stormwater and industrial process water. Leases are for the wastewater pipeline system crossing under the Whatcom Waterway to the treatment lagoon, for the outfall pipeline from the treatment lagoon to Bellingham Bay, and for the southern corner of the treatment lagoon breakwater. The leases run from 12/1/2023 through 11/30/2024 (13129/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0 

104. Authorize the executive director to sign an agreement with Sound Internet Services d/b/a/ PogoZone for right of use, fiber design and construction of a fiber network? The 44-mile fiber network will pass 456 homes in the North Ferndale area of unincorporated Whatcom County. The total cost of the project is $5 million — the port received a $1 million local matching grant from the Whatcom County Economic Development Investment Board. Terms of the agreement: The Port of Bellingham will construct and own the network. PogoZone will operate and maintain the network, collect fees and provide lite service on the network. (13130/Consent Agenda E) Approved 3-0

105. Adopt the 2024 strategic budget? (Public hearings held at November 7 and November 21 meetings.) The regular property tax levy for 2023 will result in approximately $8,034,087 in taxes collected by the port. The property tax increase is 1 percent or $78,792 over 2023. 13131/Action Item 1 (Resolution 1411) Approved 2-1, Ken Bell opposed. 

106. Adopt the 2024 property tax levy? The estimated levy rate will be $0.1319 per thousand of valuation. The 2023 levy rate was $0.1501 per thousand of valuation. 13131/Action Item 1 (Resolution 1412) Approved 2-1, Ken Bell opposed.  

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