Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum

Action Taken at December 12, 2023 Meeting

Shall the commission:
107. Approve the 2024 budget for the Industrial Development Corporation? (Commission meeting as the board of directors of the Industrial Development Corporation.) Anticipated revenues: $6,125; interest $2,000 and anticipated expenditures: $450. This motion authorizes the IDC treasurer to approve distribution and payment of IDC funds in conjunction with the budget. (133291/IDC 4) Approved 3-0

108. Authorize the executive director to update rental rates for meetings and events? Bookings for port facilities has returned to prepandemic levels. Port rental rates lag behind market rates for comparable facilities. Port staff did a side-by-side market comparison with nearby privately-owned facilities and recommended rate increases at the Fisherman’s Pavilion, Blaine Boating Center, and the Squalicum Boathouse. (13292/Consent Agenda J) Approved 3-0

109. Adopt rental revenue standards for 2024? Staff does not recommend any changes to the current rate structure for fiscal year 2024. Occupancy levels are high and the port charges market rates so it does not expect a fiscal impact. The guidelines recommended for 2024 are attached to Memorandum 13294 as Appendix “A.”(13294/Consent Agenda L) Approved 3-0

110. Adopt liability insurance standards for port agreements for fiscal year 2024? No changes have been made from 2023. Liability standards include items like lease (commercial/land), rental agreements, boathouse brokerage rental agreements, ground transportation, airline leases, air taxi agreements, aviation fuel providers, marine fuel providers, moorage, corporate events, meetings/events, moorage and boathouse (structure) agreement. No changes have been made from the 2023 liability standards. (13295/Consent Agenda M) Approved 3-0 

111. Approve a land lease with Millworks Family for non-exclusive parking in the Waterfront District? At the 11/15/2022 meeting, vote #134, 22 Millworks Family LLC signed an option for 3.3 acre site in the Waterfront District. The project is in the Lignin parcel. Phase 1 includes 83 units of permanently affordable workforce and family rental housing, owned and operated by Mercy Housing Northwest, along with a six-classroom early childhood education center run by the Whatcom Family YMCA to support approximately 100 children. The lease allows five floors of affordable one- and two-bedroom units, approximately 83 residential units with attached parking structure. Construction of the residential unit and early learning center began in January 2023 and is expected to be completed by April 2024. This agreement will allow Millworks to construct and maintain up to 50 non-exclusive surface park stalls on port property. (13296/Consent Agenda N) Approved 3-0

112. Approve a settlement agreement and new land lease with Fairhaven Industrial Marine Repair Facility? At the 4/4/2021 meeting, vote #57, the commission approved a 10-year land lease with the Fairhaven Industrial Marine Repair (FIMFR) facility. The rent for the first five-year period was approximately $4.1 million. The lease was for premises at 200, 201 and 207 Harris Avenue — it totaled approximately 16.2 acres, consisting of 12.5 of state property managed by the port and 3.7 acres of port property. The marine repair and manufacturing facility will use existing marine rails, piers and building, adding cranes, a fabrication shop and a fleet of marine vessels. It will also bring 20 full-time jobs with additional jobs over time. The lease was modified at the 8/9/2021 meeting, vote #99, and 11/15/2022 meeting, vote #129. On 8/30/2022, a default notice for a failure to pay rent was sent to Fairhaven Industrial Marine Repair. Under this settlement agreement, the port will receive $182,389 in excess rent that was due under the lease and a result of the FIMFR’s sublease to Sayak Logistics dba Northline Seafoods (13298/Consent Agenda P) Approved 3-0

113. Establish officers for 2023? President: Ken Bell; vice president: Michael Shepard; secretary: Bobby Briscoe? See the endnote for board representatives. (13300/Action Item 2) Approved 3-0

114. Set commission meetings dates for 2024? Meetings will be held on the first and third Tuesday of the month with a starting time of 4:00 p.m. Exceptions: second and fourth Tuesday in January, one meeting on the third Tuesday in July and second Tuesday in August, and one meeting on the third Tuesday in December. (13302/Consent Agenda B) Approved 3-0

115. Change the lease ownership from Captain’s Locker Inc. dba Web Locker to Austin Heights Holdings of Blaine? In 2000, the port entered into a lease with Web Locker Restaurant for premises located at the Marina Square and modified the lease in 2005 to Captain’s Locker, Inc. Austin Heights Holdings purchased Captain’s Locker in November 2023. (13304/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0

116. Extend the terms of Marina Advisory Committee members for three years? The committee was created in 1991, with a minimum of 10 members. Reappointed: Loren Kapp representing active commercial fishing; Robert Brooks representing Blaine harbor boathouse owners; Dick Cathell and Linda Thomson representing recreational boaters in Squalicum Harbor; Julie Winkler representing liveaboards in Squalicum Harbor; Ross Tennant representing merchant leaseholders in Squalicum harbor; Paul Burrill representing upland port tenants and Peter Border representing an associate interest group, Jim Kyle representing recreational board and Stan Campbell representing Squalicum multiparty boathouse owners. The terms end on 12/31/2026. (13305/Consent Agenda E) Approved 3-0

117. Appoint Tamara Sobjack (chief financial officer) as auditor and Sarah Eastwood (controller) as deputy auditor for fiscal year 2024? The auditor position reviews and certifies all payments, maintains control over all designated cash funds not invested and in compliance with state law and port policies. Provides oversight with regards to actions of the port officials which may represent malfeasance or misfeasance.(13306/Consent Agenda F) Approved 3-0

118. Designate the chief financial officer as the official responsible for informing the public of the port’s intent to issue tax-exempt bonds? The designation expires on 1/31/2025. 13307/Consent Agenda G (Resolution 1183-T) Approved 3-0

119. Increase the base salary for the executive director to $235,000? The base salary approved at the 12/6/2022 meeting, vote #145, was $222,000. This salary aligns with a market analysis of executive director compensation at seven Washington state ports.  (13308/Consent Agenda H) Approved 3-0

120. Authorize the executive director to sign a $34,653 contract with Entrance Controls of Tukwila for a video monitoring upgrade? The airport and cruise terminal use the Lenel system that is no longer being upgraded. The Milestone Platform can be integrated the current port Lenel OnGuard Alarm Monitoring system. At the Bellingham airport, 112 cameras ($29,402) will be upgraded and 20 cameras ($5,251) at the cruise terminal. The channel license fees were waived in 2024 but will be applied in 2025. with beginning cost of $7,623. The security programs are regulated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (13309/Consent Agenda I) Approved 3-0

121. Appoint Industrial Development Corporation officers and establish the date, time and location of meetings for 2024? (Commission meeting as the board of directors of the Industrial Development Corporation.) President: Michael Shepard; vice president: Bobby Briscoe; secretary: Ken Bell; and treasurer: Tamara Sobjack. Meetings will be convened as needed, in conjunction with commission meetings. (13311/IDC 1-3) Approved 3-0  


Whatcom Council of Governments (WCOG): 

Bobby Briscoe (Primary), Michael Shepard (Alternate)

Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA):

Ken Bell (Trustee), Bobby Briscoe (Alternate)

Economic Development Investment (EDI) Program:

Ken Bell (Primary), Bobby Briscoe (Alternate)

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