Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum

Action Taken at August 8, 2023 Meeting

Shall the commission:
65. Authorize the executive director to sign an agreed order with the state of Washington for cleanup design at the Westman Marine site? By signing this order, the port agrees to perform specific engineering and design work for state review and approval. The commission will decide cleanup specifics in the future. Westman Industrial Company operated a vessel maintenance and repair facility at the site from the 1976 to 1989 and Westman Marine operated it from 1989 to 2011. The site is currently being operated as a boatyard by The Blaine Shipyard. In 2020, a remedial investigation/feasibility study found arsenic, copper, mercury, zinc, TBT, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalates, phenol, 2-methylnaphthalene, high molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), PCBs, lead, and cPAHs in the soil and sediment.  The estimated cleanup cost is $14 million. The site falls under the Model Toxics Control Act. (12948/Action Item 2) Approved 3-0

66. Authorize the executive director to sign the second amendment to the Whatcom Waterway consent decree? At the 9/18/2007 meeting, vote #110, the commission president was authorized to sign the consent decree implementing the cleanup plan for the Whatcom Waterway. At the time, the cost for the design and cleanup of the Whatcom Waterway site, including the G-P wastewater treatment lagoon, was estimated at $72 million. The decree was amended at the 6/7/2011 meeting, vote #92; it modified the decree to create two distinct cleanup phases: phase one to address the inner portion of the waterway and phase two the former G-P wastewater treatment lagoon. The phase one cleanup was completed in 2016. At the 11/2/2021 meeting, vote 123, the commission changed the future of the wastewater treatment lagoon from a marina to multiple uses by the marine trades industry. Mercury is the primary contaminant of concern at the site — it also contains cPAH and D/F compounds. The costs for the handling and disposal of 626 cubic yards of contaminated sediments is $54.4 million; another 822,000 cubic yards will be capped. The estimate cost of dredging and offsite landfill disposal is $198,284,286. The site falls under the Model Toxics Control Act. (12949/Action Item 3) Approved 3-0

67. Authorize the executive director to sign an authorization to proceed for the BoardMill Group’s proposed BoardMill Block project? At the 4/11/23 meeting, vote 38, the executive director was authorized to sign an option with the BoardMill Group to purchase 5.37 acres in the Waterfront District. The BoardMill Block project has three components: 1) redevelop the Boardmill Building into a 107-room hotel, a 299 person banquet hall, a cafe/bar and additional meeting rooms; 2) a seven-story mixed-use building with approximately 163 residential units and commercial space; 3) a six-story mixed-use building with 96-residential units, two restaurants and 540 parking spaces with 40 percent for the public. All three are expected to be occupied by 2029. (12951/Action Item 1) Approved 3-0

68. Approve a modification of the lease with Moon Enterprises doing business as Star Fish Inc.? In 1997, Star Fish signed a 30-year lease for premises in Blaine. At the 9/1/2009 meeting, vote #141, the commission modified the lease, allowing the construction of a new building and expanding into a site formerly occupied by TM Protein. This modification is an additional 2,775 square feet for a total of 26,975 square feet. The rent for five years is estimated to be $82,060 and expires on 5/31/2027. (12952/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0

69. Reallocate funds for the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system at the Harbor Center building? The budget for the Loft Restaurant HVAC unit will be increased from $62,000 to $162,000 and the budget for a 50-ton Chiller unit for the port administrative office and tenant space is reduced by $100,000 to $325,000. (12953/Consent Agenda E) Approved 3-0

70. Reallocate $40,000 to fund sewer repair? The installation of an electric vehicle charging station at Gate 2 in Blaine Harbor cost $14,242, which was $40,000 under budget. That money will be used to replace a recently discovered damaged pipe that provides sewer service to Gate 3 in Blaine Harbor. The sewer main is located within Marine Drive. (12954/Consent Agenda F) Approved 3-0

71. Approve the issuance of up to $14,200,000 in general obligation bonds? The port commission intends to undertake improvements to port facilities, including but not limited to (1) demolition of an unusable building, and (2) stormwater improvements and capital improvements that are approved by the commission. The resolution did not go into anymore detail on the purpose of the bonds. 12955/Consent Agenda G (Resolution 1410) Approved 3-0

72. Send a letter to Representative Rick Larsen supporting the FAA’s initiative to eliminate lead in aviation fuel? The goal is to transition to lead-free aviation fuels for piston-engine aircraft by 2030. Last year, the FAA approved fleet-wide use of unleaded fuel for engines which require 100-octane. The port is committed to upgrading fuel infrastructure by offering pratical alternatives as they become available. (12956/Consent Agenda B) Approved 3-0

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