Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum

Action Taken at June 7, 2022 Meeting

Shall the commission:
71. Authorize the executive director to accept a $1,340,000 state grant for the Whatcom Waterway cleanup? This project falls under the  Model Toxics Control Act, the state will cover 50 percent of the cleanup costs.  The port is required to match the state grant for a total of $2,680,000. In 1965, the chlor-alkali plant was constructed by Georgia-Paciflc (GP) to produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide for use in bleaching the pulping wood fiber. The chlor-alkali plant discharged mercury-containing wastewater into the log pond, an industrially constructed pond open to Bellingham Bay between 1965 and 1971. GP installed treatment measures that reduced these mercury releases to the bay until 1979 when the discharge was diverted to an industrial waste treatment lagoon. The chlor-alkali plant closed in 2001. In 2005, the Port of Bellingham acquired 137 acres of waterfront property from GP, including property within the Whatcom Waterway site, accepting lead responsibility for cleanup with state of Washington oversight. Other parties involved at the site include the City of Bellingham, state Department of Natural Resources, and a private company, Meridian-Pacific LLC, which owns waterfront property within the site. At the 9/18/2007 meeting, vote #110, the commission president was authorized to sign the first consent decree to cleanup the Whatcom Waterway. At the 6/7/2011 meeting, vote #92, the plan was modified to create two distinct cleanup phases:phase 1 to address the inner portion of the waterway and phase 2 to cleanup of the former G-P treatment lagoon. In 2016, the phase 1 cleanup project was completed. The total cost of the Whatcom Waterway cleanup is estimate at $178 million. This grant agreement expires on 6/30/2023. (11593/Consent Agenda C) Approved 3-0

72. Authorize the executive director to accept a $320,000 state grant for the I&J Waterway cleanup? The Port of Bellingham and Bornstein Seafoods have been labeled as potentially liable parties for contamination at the site and are responsible for the cleanup. This project falls under the  Model Toxics Control Act; the state will cover 50 percent of the cleanup costs. The port is required to match the state grant for a total of $640,000. At the 8/16/2005 meeting, vote #86, the executive director signed an agreed order to perform a remedial investigation/feasibility study at the I&J Waterway site. At the 4/3/2012 meeting, vote #63, the executive director signed amendment #2 to the agreed order. At the 2/5/2019 meeting, vote #16,  the executive director signed amendment #3 to the agreed order. The port, in coordination with Bornstein Seafoods and the state, have developed a draft cleanup action plan for the site which describes how the preferred alternative will be implemented. The following  contaminants were found in the sediment: bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, dimethyl phthalate, N-nitrosophenylamine, dibenzofuran, benzoic acid, and benzyl alcohol phenol, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nickel, mercury, methylphenol compounds, and other contaminants from historical industrial activities occurring along the waterway. Bornstein filed the lawsuit against the City of Bellingham in 2021. In the complaint, Bornstein alleged that the city is liable for cleanup costs. The city and Bornstein are currently in mediation. The total cost is estimated at $24,390,000. This grant agreement expires on 6/30/2023. (11594/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0

73. Approve a license with Kulshan Brewery for a beer garden and brewery facility at the portal container village in the Waterfront District? A license was initially signed in November 2020; Kulshan has made a significant invest in the area. Kulshan can have one food truck on the property and close from months of November through February. The port will receive concession fees between 3 and 5 percent during the months of operation. The five-year license terminates on 5/31/2027 and can be renewed for two five-year terms. (11595/Consent Agenda E) Approved 3-0

74. Modify a lease with Scheffer Holdings at the Bellingham airport? At the 9/17/2019 meeting, vote #115/116, The Puget Hound/Rover Stay Over (dog boarding, daycare and grooming services) purchased the building at 3710 Williamson Way from the port for $53,239. The airport property was leased to the Whatcom Humane Society until 2013 and to The Puget Hound in 2017. At the 11/3/2020 meeting, vote #100, the commission approved the sale of the building to Scheffer Holdings. Rover Stay Over conducting business as The Puget Hound subleases the building from Scheffer Holdings. The five-year lease expires on 6/30/2027; the five-year rent is $71,732. (11596/Consent Agenda F) Approved 3-0

75. Authorize the executive director to request/accept a state grant for reimbursement of costs associated with the disposal of a sailing vessel? In October 2021, a sailing vessel was inventoried on a port mooring buoy in Fairhaven without registering. Attempts to contact the owner were unsuccessful; the vessel was deemed abandoned because all moorage customers are to vacate the buoy by October 31. The vessel was relocated to Squalicum Harbor and processed through the state Derelick Vessel Removal Program. Before the vessel could be disposed, $800 was offered for it and it was sold to the buyer. The new owner decided not to take possession of it so the port is required to dispose of it. The state will reimburse the port for 90 percent of disposal costs. (11597/Consent Agenda G) Approved 3-0

76. Authorize the executive director to sign an agreement up to $49,675 with FLO Analytics of Seattle to update the GIS database? FLO Analytics will update a study of Whatcom County for remaining buildable land and existing infrastructure. Whatcom County approved $50,000 for the study focusing on residential and industrial lands. At the 6/18/2019 meeting, vote #80, the commission approved the original I-5 corridor infrastructure study to be performed by FLO Analytics. The inventory will be available for regional agencies to recruit, retain and expand businesses. The deadline for all tasks is 12/31/2022; it can extended. (11598/Action Item 1) Approved 3-0

77. Authorize the executive director to sign a contract with Carletti Architects to design a building at the Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park? This vote also approves $750,000 for the project. Building 8 will be torn down and replaced with the new building. The new building will give the port more water-reliant manufacturing space for lease; it has been turning down prospective tenants. Birdon American is a current port tenant, and would like to lease the new building. Birdon America has eight years remaining in the contract with the U.S. Coast Guard to retrofit 47-foot motor lifeboats. The boats are designed for rescue in high seas and surf. Birdon is using 45 percent of building 7 to fulfill its coast guard contract. Later this year, funds for design and construction will be requested. (11605/Action Item 2) Approved 3-0

78. Authorize the executive director to sign a $71,219 contract with Makers Architecture and Urban Design for phase 1 of the former Georgia-Pacific treatment lagoon project? The port is referring to the project as the Waterfront District Marine Trades Area Master Plan. The chlor-alkali plant discharged mercury-containing wastewater into the lagoon. It was called the aerated stabilization basin from 1979 to 2001, when it closed. Since 2008, the port has been using the 29-acre lagoon and pipeline system to manage stormwater and industrial process water. Originally, the port planned on turning the lagoon into a marina. The plan to turn the basin into a marina has been abandoned. At the 11/2/2021 meeting, vote #123, the commission passed Resolution 1397, supporting multiple marine trade industry uses for the lagoon. Phase 1 will cover the conditions and costs of the cleanup. (11606/Consent Agenda B) Approved 3-0

79. Authorize the executive director to spend $68,540 for an ADA portable restroom trailer station for the pavilion site? (Other business) Approved 3-0

Action Taken at June 21, 2022 Meeting

Shall the commission:
80. Approve a lease agreement with ABC Recycling of Burnaby, British Columbia, for six acres of property located in the log pond area, plus the right to use the Bellingham Shipping Terminal? ABC Recycling is the largest metal recycling company in western Canada; it has eight location in British Columbia and Alberta. Bellingham has been chosen as their American base. Shredded and cut grade recycled metal will be stockpiled at the log pond area to export from the shipping terminal. Recycled metal will be barged from Vancouver Island. Approximately 20,000 metric tons will be imported the first year and subsequent years. Approximately 81,000 metric tons will be exported the first year — 242,000 metric tons in year two and 320,000 metric tons in subsequent years. Approximately 26 jobs will be added to the local economy. The term of the lease is 15 years. The land rent will be approximately $199,420 a year for the first five years. Annual revenue from the shipping terminal and log pond is estimated at $945,000 for the first year and $2,742,000 for the third year. (11625/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0

81. Authorize the executive director to sign an agreement (amendment #2) for remedial investigation, funding and litigation with Yorkston Oil Company, estate of Thomas Yorkston, ExxonMobil corporation and Chevron U.S.A.to fund remedial design of the cleanup? The agreement was initially approved by the commission at the 12/7/2010 meeting, vote #178 and the first amendment approved at the 5/21/2019 meeting, vote #64. An environmental site assessment completed in 2002 determined that the bulk fueling activities resulted in petroleum and hydrocarbons in the soil and groundwater. The next phase consists of completion of site characterization and remedial analysis and is estimated to cost $218,350. (11626/Consent Agenda E) Approved 3-0

82. Authorize the executive director to negotiate and sign a five-year lease with the Lighthouse Mission Ministries for up to 38 parking stalls? The mission will be constructing a five-story shelter at the corner of F Street and W. Holly Street to replace the current facility. The lot does not have adequate space to meet city parking requirements. Space has been identified between Sanitary Services parking and All American Marine on Hilton Avenue. The executive director will negotiate a fair market value for the leased space. (11627/Consent Agenda F) Approved 3-0

83. Authorize the executive director to accept a $1,125,000 grant from the Whatcom County Economic Development Investment Board for power and telecommunications? The total budget for the project is $2,657,668. The grant comes from portions of the rural sales tax which can only be used for public facility projects. The project will put power lines underground, increase power currently available to the shipping terminal pier and extend high-speed internet to warehouse offices. Currently, vessels must rely on diesel generators. The project will allow them to connect to electric power and improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (11628/Consent Agenda G) Approved 3-0

84. Change the effective date (amendment #1) of the $656,000 state grant received at the 5/17/2022 meeting, vote #64? The grant was for cleanup of the Harris Avenue shipyard and the effective date was 7/1/2022. This amendment changes the effective date to 1/1/2022 so the port is eligible for 50 percent of the reimbursement under the Model Toxics Control Act. Total cleanup costs are estimated to be $24,980,000. (11630/Consent Agenda B) Approved 3-0

85. Increase the budget for the Squalicum Harbor Gate 3 interior tiling project? In December 2021, the low bid was awarded to Spectra Contract Flooring of Tukwila. This vote increases the project budget from $300,000 to $335,000. The work will install new tile and trim at the Gate 3 upland and floating restrooms. Phase 1 was completed at the end of March 2022. Phase 2 included demolition, prep work, finish work by port maintenance staff and tiling by Spectra. Port labor costs have caused the project to exceed initial estimates. (11631/Consent Agenda C) Approved 3-0  

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