Working Waterfront


Letter to the editor: What's best for our port

Misinformation and a divisive approach are not going to help our port. The claim that rates for marine trades leases and associated port services that bring substantial economic benefit to Jefferson County are below fair market is plain nonsense.

The Port Commissioners adopted a policy of charging fair market lease rates consistent with an independent MIA certified appraisal. The most recent appraisal, completed in 2018, found lease rates to be generally in line with fair market, any adjustments indicated are being instituted as terms allow. Additionally, a recent study of lease rates at Western Washington ports done by the Port of Port Angeles and independent surveys of like facilities at Bellingham, Anacortes and Port Angeles, all indicate that the Port of Port Townsend rates are generally in line with the market.

Likewise an extensive study of vessel haul out and on-land storage rates was completed in 2018. The study found that vessel haul-out and short-term storage rates were right in line with competing facilities and rates for vessels stored on land. For two months or longer, they were above market.

Above market rates for lease, vessel haul-out and storage would devastate our maritime economy and ultimately reduce port revenue.

The port’s financial challenges can be solved; it’s going to take a collaborative approach. Stakeholders need to work together, entities should include: County, City, Tribes, Maritime Center, Marine Trades and Constituents. There are a number of opportunities to increase the Port’s revenue and create economic development; applying sound business practices to port operations will help bring this about. Let’s work together and get it done.

I believe Pam Petranek is the Port commission candidate that will best help our port - please vote for her.

Mark Burn

Port Townsend

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