Port of Bellingham Commission

Action Taken at the April 9, 2024 Meeting

Shall the commission:

32. Reallocate the budget for the installation of windows and skylights at the Harbor Center Building? The building was constructed in 1984; the windows and skylights have lasted twice as long as the warranty period. Installation of new windows will cost less than budgeted and skylights will cost more than budgeted — the total cost is the same, $180,000. (13639/Consent Agenda D) Approved 3-0

33. Authorize the executive director to sign two construction permits with the City of Bellingham to allow improvements associated with the I&J Waterway and Yorkston Oil cleanup? The I&J Waterway permit is for the construction of 20 linear feet of storm drain along the waterway shoreline, and the Yorkston Oil permit is for the construction of 60 linear feet of curb, gutter and sidewalk along Roeder Avenue.
(13640/Consent Agenda E)
Approved 3-0

34. Amend the 2024 budget for the I&J Waterway remediation? Between 1900 and 1992, the property along the waterway had been a site for lumber mill operations, rock crushing and frozen food processing. An environmental site assessment was conducted in 1994 and 1995. The investigations indicate polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the soil and chromium in the ground water. Sediment sampling detected bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, nickel, mercury and phenol contamination in waterway and berth-area sediments. Benzyl alcohol, benzoic acid, dimethylphthalate, N-nitrosodiphenylamine, and dibenzofuran were detected above natural background in surface and subsurface sediment samples. This vote will remove $7.5 million from the 2025 budget and increase the 2024 budget to $14,289,124. It will will allow for the contract to be awarded and work to begin in the summer of 2024. (13641/Consent Agenda F) Approved 3-0

35. Adjust the 2024 budget for the Bellingham airport? The following only reports on major increases in budget items. State law requires that trees within five feet of the fence line be removed. Approximately 200 trees require removal — the budget is increased from $175,000 to $226,000. The runway project and the anticipated cost to replace existing runway lights is $4,100,000. It will be financed by an anticipated federal (FAA) grant of $3,60,000 and a port match of $500,000.
(13643/Consent Agenda H)
Approved 3-0

36. Authorize the executive director to sign a $197,100 contract with Cobb, Fender and Associates of Houston, Texas, for engineering, designing and permitting for the North Ferndale fiber project? The port received eight proposals through the RFPS bidding process. This project is a 22-mile fiber network that passes 456 homes and has a budget of $5 million. At the 11/15/2022 meeting, vote #130, the port received a $4 million federal grant to build broadband infrastructure. The grant funds are from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The port applied for the grant in partnership with ISP PogoZone. Whatcom County awarded a $1 million grant through the Economic Development Investment Board. The contract expires on 12/31/2024.
(13644/Consent Agenda I)
Approved 3-0

37. Award a small cities economical development grant for $50,000 to the City of Ferndale? At the 3/19/2024 meeting, vote #28, the City of Ferndale was initially awarded a $50,0000 small city grant for wayfinding signage and the Grandville Road sewer. The port will work collaboratively with the City of Ferndale to plan and implement a study on the extension of municipal sewer to the Grandview Road interchange area. The proposal contains area within the city limits (approximately 250 acres) and the Urban Growth Area (approximately 390 acres). The city has $125,000 for the project.
(13645/Consent Agenda J)
Approved 3-0

38. Authorize the sale of two vessels for the nonpayment of moorage fees? An auction was held on May 6 for a 30-foot sailboat with unpaid fees of $5,329 and a 59-foot purse seiner with unpaid fees of $3,905. Port staff contacted the owners about the unpaid fees 25 times. (13650/Consent Agenda C) Approved 3-0


Action Taken at the April 23, 2024 Meeting

Shall the commission:

39. Authorize the executive director to sign a consent degree for cleanup actions at the R.G. Haley site? Located at the south end of Cornwall Avenue, the site is about six acres between the Cornwall Avenue landfill and the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. At the 9/14/2009 meeting, vote #193, the Bellingham City Council authorized the mayor to purchase the property for $1.00 from the Douglas Management Company. The city assumed responsibility for the cleanup. The property is a Model Toxics Control Act cleanup site. At the time of purchase, cleanup costs were estimated at between $3 million and $9 million. Prior to 2009, the property was owned by: Bellingham Bay Improvement Company (1887-1912); Bellingham Bay Lumber Company (1912-1913); Bloedel Donovan Lumber Company (1913-1947) (all of which operated lumber mills); the Port of Bellingham, which leased portions of the site to the International Cross Arm Co. (1947-1955); R.G. Haley (1955-1990) and the Douglas Management Company (1990 to 2009). The port leased tidelands from the state from 1947 to 1965. Contaminants were observed leaking into Bellingham Bay from the site in 2001, and a barrier wall and recovery system were installed. The state has named the city and port as potentially liable for remediation. By entering into the consent decree, the port agrees that, should the city fail to complete the cleanup, the port must perform the remaining work. The city and port have discussed the funding arrangement and not reached an agreement. (13702/Action Item #2) Approved 3-0

40. Authorize the executive director to accept a $97,000 state grant to develop a feasibility study for the Waterfront District energy system? At the 11/7/2017 meeting, vote #141, the commission approved a contract with Razz Construction to install a “four-pipe” system. The source of the heat is the Encogen co-generation power plant owned and operated by Puget Sound Energy. At the 12/8/2020 meeting, vote #34, the commission approved an agreement with Corix Utility Systems to design, construct, finance, own, operate and maintain the energy facility on 44 acres of the Waterfront District. Corix has installed three prefabricated modules for heating and cooling to serve the first phase of development in the Waterfront District. This grant will study the potential for optimizing and expanding energy systems to serve Western Washington University, the downtown core and nearby port facilities. (13705/Action Item #1) Approved 3-0

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