Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum

Action Taken at November 2, 2021 Meeting

Shall the commission:
118. Authorize the executive director to sign a three-year agreement with the city of Bellingham, Whatcom County, the Port of Bellingham to contract with WWU’s Small Business Development Center? In December 2010, the parties came together to jointly fund economic development services. They had been contracting separately and saved money by pooling their resources. Economic development services are: business retention, expansion, recruitment, assistance and supporting research. Since 2010, the provider has been the Small Business Development Center; the agreement designated the port’s Industrial Development Corporation as its administrator. The agreement has renewed numerous times. The port’s three-year commitment, pending budget approval, is $1,888,427, and the three-year grand total is $4,604,877. The grand total includes a state grant, subject to Legislative approval, of $331,881. This agreement expires on 12/31/2024. (10501/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0

119. Authorize the executive direct to accept a $1,895,000 state grant for the Central Waterfront? The site (between the I&J Waterway and Whatcom Waterway and Roeder Avenue on the north) is approximately 55 acres of industrial property, used for bulk fueling, boatyard operations, rock crushing and municipal waste disposal. In 2013, approximately 1,360 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil was removed and 11 tons of creosote piling stubs extracted near the former Chevron Oil Co. site and transported to a disposal site. A geomembrane liner was placed on the bottom and sides and backfilled with 1,600 tons of capping sand, filter gravel, armor stone and “fish mix” gravel. The grant money will be used to complete remedial design and permitting; and the development of a consent decree to perform the selected remedial action, including construction, monitoring, and project management, as set forth in the approved cleanup action plan This site falls under the Model Toxics Control Act, making 50 percent of cleanup costs eligible for state grants. The total cleanup cost is estimated at $13,900,000. (10502/Consent Agenda E) Approved 3-0

120. Authorize the executive direct to sign a $259,100 contract (amendment #12) with Landau Associates of Edmonds to provide design and permitting services at the Cornwall Avenue landfill site? The contract was initially approved at the 9/2/2014 meeting, vote #118. The Cornwall Avenue landfill is approximately 16.5 acres located at the south end of Cornwall Avenue next to the bay. From 1888 to 1946, the property was used by a sawmill for log storage and wood disposal. Next it was used for municipal solid waste disposal from 1953-65. Later the dumpsite was buried under a layer of soil. The fill material was placed under a white waterproof sheet to redirect rainwater so that less water flows through the remaining municipal waste. The Model Toxics Control Act grants will reimburse 50 percent of eligible costs. The total amended contract is $1,703,937. (10503/Consent Agenda F) Approved 3-0

121. Transfer up to $80,000 to re-roof the International Trade Building at the Bellingham airport? The building is being re-roofed with thermoplastic polyolefin that exceeded the budget. The executive director awarded a $463,096 re-roofing contract to Hytech Roofing of Lynden. (10504/Consent Agenda G) Approved 3-0

122. Establish a policy for preserving marine trades properties? Over 6,000 jobs in Whatcom County are created and supported by the marine trades’ sector. The Port of Bellingham owns and manages approximately 545 acres of property in Bellingham and Blaine. In 2019, the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County suggested the Port of Bellingham consider the concept of a no-net loss, working waterfront. In 2020 and 2021, the port and the waterfront coalition worked collaboratively to develop a policy. The policy objective of this resolution is to preserve and expand marine trades uses on Port of Bellingham owned and managed properties for water reliant commercial marine uses and maritime contributing uses. 10505/Action Item 1 (Resolution 1396) Approved 3-0

123. Support multiple marine trade industry uses of the aerated stabilization basin rather than solely for marina purposes? Georgia-Pacific poured tons of mercury into Whatcom Waterway and ultimately Bellingham Bay until 1978 when the state required the construction of a pond to treat its waste. Under state supervision, G-P removed sediment and restored the habitat in the log pond when the mill closed in 2001. When the Port of Bellingham acquired the Georgia-Pacific property in 2005,  it became the owner of the aerated stabilization basin also known as the waste treatment lagoon. Under the Model Toxics Control Act, the pond was mandated for the most environmental protective and cost-effective cleanup. The cleanup would allow the port to turn it into a marina. In 2004, a study showed the need for an additional 600 slips by 2015 and 1,700 by 2025. Time has shown that additional slips are not needed, so the port will not turn the cleaned up lagoon into a marina. (Resolution 1397) 10506/Action Item 2 Approved 3-0

Action Taken at November 16, 2021 Meeting

124. Adopt the 2022 strategic budget? (Public hearings held at November 2 and November 16 meetings.) The regular property tax levy for 2022 will result in approximately $7,801,145 in taxes collected by the port. The property tax increase is 1 percent over 2021. 10524/Action Item 1 (Resolution 1398) Approved 3-0

125. Adopt the 2022 property tax levy? (Public hearings held at November 2 and November 16 meetings.) The estimated levy rate will be $0.1803 per thousand of valuation. The 2021 levy rate was $0.2089 per thousand of valuation. 10524/Action Item 1 (Resolution 1399) Approved 3-0

126. Authorize the executive director to sign a three-year agreement with Western Washington University to fund the Small Business Development Center? Whatcom County will contribute 50 percent, and the City of Bellingham and the Port of Bellingham will contribute 25 percent each. Total funding for 2022-2024 is $859,897; for 2022 it is $278,203; for 2023 it is $286,549; and for 2024 it is $295,145. The Port of Bellingham portion for 2022 is $69,551; for 2023 it is $71,637; and for 2024 it is $73,786. (10526/Consent Agenda B) Approved 3-0

127. Authorize the executive director to sign a $45,800 contract (amendment #3) with Bennett Engineering of Bellingham to monitor the airport woodwaste landfill? Georgia-Pacific operated the landfill from 1984 to 1992; the port acquired the property in 2005. The Whatcom County Health Department issued the permit for the closure of the woodwaste landfill site in 2010; see the 12/7/2010 meeting, vote #165. It is anticipated that woodwaste post-closure monitoring, water sampling and reporting will be required for another 10 to 15 years. The total amended amount is $171,230. (10527/Consent Agenda C) Approved 3-0

128. Update the Whatcom County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan? The plan was first approved at the 8/16/2005 meeting, vote #83, and last updated at the 8/18/2015 meeting, vote #102. Meant to plan for disasters before they happen, this plan must be adopted in order for the port to qualify for federal post-disaster funds and must be readopted every five years. It was scheduled for readoption in 2020, Covid-19 delayed the process. 10528/Consent Agenda D (Resolution 1344-B) Approved 3-0

129. Authorize the executive director to sign a $111,600 contract (amendment #4) with Landau Associates of Seattle for environmental and engineering support services at the Sea K Fish site in Blaine? 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. Underground storage tanks, petroleum distribution and fish processing have contributed contamination of the site. The site falls under the Model Toxics Control Act. The original contract was approved at the 5/21/2019 meeting, vote #62. It confirmed the presence of petroleum hydrocarbons in 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 to the marine environment.  The total amended contract is $543,900. (10529/Consent Agenda E) Approved 3-0

130. Authorize the executive director to approve a $59,409 payment to the state of Washington for aquatic lands’ harbor leases adjacent to the Whatcom Waterway? The state issued two leases to Georgia-Pacific for the treatment lagoon known as the Aerated Stabilization Basin. The leases are for a pipeline under Whatcom Creek to the treatment lagoon for stormwater treatment and for the outfall pipe from the treatment lagoon into Bellingham Bay. The treatment lagoon is part of the Whatcom Waterway cleanup site. Since 6/30/2008, the port has been using the treatment lagoon and pipeline system to manage stormwater and industrial process water. The payment period runs from 12/1/2021 through 11/30/2022. (10530/Consent Agenda F) Approved 3-0

131. Authorize the executive director to sign an indefeasible right of use agreement with Sound Internet Service d/b/a PogoZone? This agreement will provide affordable broadband service to residents in east Nooksack and the north Mosquito Lake Road area. PogoZone will operate and maintain the network for 20 years with an option to renew. At the 9/17/2019 meeting, vote #113, the port was awarded a $1,168,782 loan/grant from the state Community Economic Revitalization Board for segment one of the rural broadband project. The loan is $584,391: repayment is $633,600 over 10 years.The Port of Bellingham will pay $114,000 for a portion of the indefeasible right of use fee and the $84,390 state loan. Construction is estimated to be completed on 7/30/2022. (10531/Action Item 2) Approved 3-0  

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