Commission Meeting Minutes 2/14/22

Commission Meeting Minutes 2/14/22

(Via Zoom)   February 14, 2022

David Preston, President
Steve Johnston, Vice President
Jim Orvis, Secretary
Jay Grant
Angela Harris

Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Brandon Baker, Director of Marina Operations
Tina Drennan, Finance Manager

Jordan Stephens, Port Attorney


President Preston called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


All those in attendance participated in the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.






There were no public comments.


Mr. McChesney explained that in order to prepare for site work and construction of the new Administration/Maintenance Building, the parking area across from Anthony’s will need to be vacated. It has been used by Anthony’s employees for many years at no cost, and Port Maintenance staff uses it for material storage, as well. Staff is proposing that the North Parking Lot, which is located across Admiral Way adjacent to Jacobson’s, be reconfigured. The lot currently serves as a multi-use gravel parking area with capacity for 113 vehicles. Users include Arnie’s employees (20 stalls), Edmonds Yacht Club (25 stalls), paid commuter parking (26 stalls) and the remainder is open for general use and serves as a surge lot during the busy season. He pointed out that the North Parking Lot is the logical and best place to consolidate restaurant employee parking for both Arnie’s and Anthony’s. However, it will be necessary to reconfigure the lot with the goal of making it more efficient for ingress/egress and to increase the number of available parking stalls.

Mr. McChesney explained that building permits for the new building are now pending and should be released before the end of February, which means the site needs to be cleared out and Anthony’s employee parking must be relocated. He provided a conceptual illustration of what the reconfiguration could look like, noting that it would increase parking capacity by creating 40 to 50 additional parking stalls with improved signage, delineation and internal circulation. Upon completion, the expected capacity would increase from 113 stalls to 150-160 stalls.

Mr. McChesney advised that the proposed reconfiguration works well conceptually, but there is one problem. Arnie’s doesn’t lease directly from the Port. They are a subtenant to the primary tenant (Catspaw, LLC). As such, since 1996 the Port has been charging Arnie’s for employee parking. In 2018, the parking fee increased to $88.62 per vehicle, but the fee was suspended during the March to June 2020 and December 2020 to January 2021 COVID closures and reduced to 40% from July 2020 to November 2020 and February to June 2021. Meanwhile, Anthony’s is a primary tenant of the Port and has never been charged for employee parking. This results in an obvious inequity. Why should one restaurant pay for employees parking and the other not? Reconfiguring and consolidating parking into one specified area and discontinuing the fee for employee parking offers a solution to the problem. The parking fee for Arnie’s could be waived and parking could be free for both. The commuter parking fee will continue as before at $160/month plus leasehold excise tax.

Mr. McChesney expressed his belief that the proposed change would be a fair and reasonable solution. The external reality for the restaurant industry has been extremely challenging as a result of the pandemic restrictions, and both Arnie’s and Anthony’s have been seriously impacted to the point of closures or limited operations. The Port has provided some relief in the way of rent deferrals. In this early stage of economic recovery, he suggested that imposing an additional cost for employee parking would seem quite problematic. He reported that Port staff has met with Arnie’s and Anthony’s management to discuss the situation and the proposed changes.

Mr. McChesney summarized that reconfiguring the lot will cost about $50,000, and the work will be done in-house. The lost revenue is estimated to be about $21,000 per year. He recommended the Commission approve the suggested changes, including the parking fee waiver as discussed.

Commissioner Orvis asked who would benefit from the savings on Arnie’s employee parking fees, and Ms. Drennan said Arnie’s would get the benefit of the proposed change, and not the primary tenant Catspaw.

Commissioner Johnston asked if the management of both restaurants are fully in support of the proposed change. Mr. McChesney answered affirmatively. The only issue that hasn’t yet been determined is the number of stalls that each restaurant will get. Arnie’s is happy with 20 stalls, which is what they currently have. Anthony’s would like to have a lot more stalls to address their parking overlap problems. It is likely that 35 spaces will be allocated to Anthony’s. If they need more on a day-to-day basis, they could work out a day-pass system that allows their employees to park in designated areas elsewhere.

Commissioner Grant asked if the parking agreement would become part of the restaurants’ leases, and Mr. McChesney answered no. Commissioner Grant said he supports the proposal but is concerned that it would result in $21,000 in lost revenue every year. Mr. McChesney suggested that much of the loss could be made up from other sources. Commissioner Grant suggested that they revisit the decision in a year or two. Commissioner Grant noted that the parking would not be allocated equally amongst the two restaurants. Mr. McChesney explained that while Arnie’s is happy with 20 spaces, Anthony’s will need more because it is a larger restaurant. He also agreed that it would be reasonable to put a time limit on the parking fee waiver so that the decision could be revisited periodically.

Commissioner Grant suggested that the parking fee could be addressed when the leases come up for negotiation again. Mr. McChesney explained that there is seven years left on The Landing lease, and what happens after the lease expires is still an open question. If Catspaw, LLC decides not to renew the lease, the building will revert to the Port. The Port will then have to decide how it wants to repurpose the building. Commissioner Grant noted that the building needs some work. Mr. McChesney explained that the leasehold interest diminishes every year for buildings on leased land, and owners are less likely to invest money in the buildings as they get closer to the end point of the lease. He said he previously invited the principals at Catspaw, LLC to a meeting to explain the North Portwalk and Seawall Project, but they didn’t express an interest.

The Commissioners agreed it would be appropriate to revisit the parking fee waiver every year or two. Mr. McChesney commented that it is likely that the Port’s parking management program will likely go to paid parking for everyone except marina tenants within the next five to ten years. Commissioner Orvis suggested that there needs to be some uniformity in how they manage parking now and in the future. Commissioner Grant agreed that parking needs to be looked at wholistically at some point. Mr. McChesney agreed and suggested they could revisit the issue after the two major projects on the north end of the marina have been completed.

Commissioner Preston asked how many of the existing commuter parking spaces are occupied, and Ms. Drennan answered that all 26 of the spaces are leased out. Mr. McChesney said the number of commuter parking spaces was capped at 26 because the Port needs to maintain space for surge parking.



Ms. Drennan presented the Preliminary 2021 Annual Report, noting that all major transactions that staff is aware of have been recorded. She explained that, in the process of preparing the final annual report in the Budgeting, Accounting and Reporting (BARS) format in the next couple of months, other transactions that need to be adjusted or recorded occasionally come up. If there are any changes, staff will notify the Commission when the 2021 Annual Report is presented.

Ms. Drennan advised that revenues generally trended upward to a high of $10.5 million in 2021. Expenses trended upwards to $7.3 million in 2019 and dropped to $6.5 million in 2021. She noted that this is a bit misleading as in 2020, the Port recorded a negative pension expense of $233,000, and in 2021, it recorded a negative pension expense of $638,000 and a negative other post-employment benefits expense of $309.000. These negative expenses are book-only transactions and do not really reflect the Port’s revenues, expenses or net income for 2021.

Ms. Drennan reported that without the negative expenses mentioned earlier, the Port’s net income for 2020 and 2021 was $2.6 million and $3 million respectively. She further reported that actual revenues were $523,000 greater than budget and expenses (without the pension expenses factored in) were $170,000 less than budget. Gross profit for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2021 was $8.8 million or $451,000 greater than budget. Without the negative expense, net income for the same period was $3 million. She highlighted the following:

Marina Operations Revenue
• Net Fuel Sales was $326,000 or about 57% o 118,000 greater than budget.
• Net Guest Moorage was $264,000 or $87,000 or 49% greater than budget.
• Permanent Moorage was $3,907,000 or $112,000 greater than budget.
• Passenger Fees were $49,545 or about 230% greater than budget.
• Dry Storage was $804,000 or $49,000 (49%) greater than budget.
• Parking was $127,000 or $28,000 (29%) greater than budget. This will decrease in 2022 due to the Commission’s action to waive the parking fee for Arnie’s.
• The Travelift was $147,000 or $20,000 greater than budget
• The Workyard was $156,000 or $51,000 greater than budget.
• Permanent Moorage financial occupancy was budgeted at 96% and they actually achieved 99%. Dry Storage financial occupancy was 94% compared to a budgeted amount of 88%.

Rental Properties Revenue Actual to Budget
• Total Rental Property revenue was $2.6 million or about $85,000 less than budget.

Operating Expenses Actual to Budget
• Operating expenses before depreciation for the 12-month period were about $3.7 million, which was approximately $1.4 million or 27% less than budget. Without the negative expenses, operating expenses were $4.7 million or $413,000 (8%) less than budget.
• Employee Benefits were about $683,000 or $72,000 less than budget.
• GASB 68 Pension Expenses were negative $638,000 and Other Post-Employment Benefit expenses were negative $309,000. These are the negative expenses she mentioned earlier.
• Repair and Maintenance expenses were about $298,000 or about $81,000 less than budget.
• Salaries and Wages were about $2,157,000 or $65,000 less than budget.
• Supplies were $213,000 or about $123,000 less than budget.

Non-Operating Items
• Election Expenses were $24,000, and the budgeted amount was $8,000.
• There was a loss in fair market value of investments of $289,000.
• Net income for the 12-months ending December 31, 2021 was $4 million, which was $1.6 million greater than budget. The primary reasons for this difference are: revenues less cost of goods sold were $451,000 greater than budget, operating expenses were about $1.5 million less than budget and net other expenses were about $294,000 greater than budget.

Marina Actual to Budget

Ms. Drennan advised that marina revenues generally trended upwards to $7.5 million in 2021. Expenses trended upwards to $5.1 million in 2019 and dropped to $4.5 million in 2020. Without the negative expenses, 2020 and 2021 expenses were $4.6 million and $5.5 million, respectively. Net income was about $2.6 million. Without the negative expense, it would be about $2 million.

• Operating revenues were $7.4 million.
• Operating expenses before depreciation and overhead were $2.6 million.
• Net income was $2.6 million.

Rental Property Actual to Budget

Ms. Drennan advised that revenues trended upwards to 2019, to a high of $2.9 million, dropping to $2.5 million in 2020 and $2.6 million in 2021. There are a few large spaces at Harbor Square that are vacant. These had been held open while the building construction took place. Mr. McChesney added that it is okay to have some flex space now because the upcoming project to replace the atrium windows may require some tenants to be temporarily relocated. Ms. Drennan further advised that net income trended upwards to 1.5 million in 2019, dropping to $173,000 in 2020 and increasing to $1.3 million in 2021. The primary cause of the decrease in 2020 was lower rental property income combined with a loss on fixed assets during capitalization of Building 3 and associated write off of replaced fixed assets.

• Operating revenues were $2.6 million compared to a budget of $2.7 million
• Operating expenses before depreciation and overhead were $649,000 compared to a budget of $639,000.
• Net income was $1.3 million compared to a budget of $1.1 million.

Statement of Net Position (Balance Sheet)

Ms. Drennan reviewed that Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 87 requires the recognition for certain lease assets and liabilities for leases that previously were classified as operating leases and recognized as inflows of resources (revenue) or outflows of resources (expenses) based on the payment provisions of the contract. Under GASB 87, the lessee is required to recognize a lease liability and an intangible right-to-use asset, and a lessor is required to recognize a lease receivable and a deferred inflow of resources. The Statement of Net Position shows: Current Lease Receivable for lease payments due within one-year, Non-Current Lease Receivable for lease payments due more than one year from the date of the financial statement, and a Deferred Lease Inflow for revenue that will be recognized in a future period.

¬Capital Budget to Actual

Ms. Drennan reported that the Port’s 2021 Capital Budget was $987,000 and actual expenditures were a little more than $1 million. Details are on Page 16 of the report.

Investing Summary

Ms. Drennan reviewed that Investing Summary, highlighting the following:

• The Port had 22 long-term investments at the end of 2021. The goal is to move from $500,000 ladder rungs to $1 million ladder rungs.
• The details of the Port’s bond maturity and bonds purchased were attached to the report. Only one bond matured in November 2021.
• The Capital Replacement Reserve is currently at $15.8 million, with part of the reserve in cash and part invested long term.
• The Environmental Reserve is approximately $1 million, with part in cash and part invested long term.
• As bonds were called and matured in 2021, the Port retained the funds in reserve as cash to pay for the new Administration/Maintenance Building. That goal has now been reached, so the Port will continue the investment ladder program, whereby a portion of the Port’s investments matures quarterly.
• As the new building is constructed, the Port will draw down the Capital Replacement Reserve.

Commissioner Grant commented on the low interest rate the Port is receiving on its cash. Mr. McChesney explained that, prior to implementation of the laddering plan, the Port used the Government Investment Pool and the rate was even lower. The laddering approach is intended to maximize the return within the investing constraints placed upon ports. Ms. Drennan reminded the Commission that banks have to ensure government deposits at 100%. Because they can’t loan the money out, the rate they are willing to pay on the Port’s investments is lower.


Mr. McChesney reviewed that the Commission and staff are in the planning stages of a retreat to be held in March. Staff has assessed the technical workability of both the Edmonds Waterfront Center and the Edmonds Yacht Club, and they don’t believe either will be suitable locations. Because all of the Port’s equipment is connected, staff would strongly prefer holding the retreat in the Commission Meeting Room.

The Commissioners discussed possible dates for the retreats and decided upon March 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room. They discussed the following potential topics:

• They could begin discussing a financing plan for the North Portwalk and Seawall Project.

• The Administration/Maintenance Building Project should be ready to go out for bid by that time. The Commission could review a detailed cost estimate and a schedule of values based on the divisions.

• The Commission still hasn’t received enough information to quantify the benefits of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. Commissioner Grant noted that the Edmonds Waterfront Center achieved LEED Gold Certification, and it would be interesting to hear their opinion regarding return on investment, maintenance costs, etc. Commissioner Orvis said he would like more information about the hard costs of LEED Certification and its benefits than what was previously provided by the consultant. Commissioner Preston agreed that the real costs and benefits need to be quantified. Commissioner Johnston pointed out that a lot of the provisions that were formerly only in LEED are now encompassed in the building permit process, which means that LEED has evolved into more of a branding exercise. Commissioner Orvis voiced concern that, while the Commission is committed to LEED Certification, he isn’t convinced that they have a clear understanding of its value. Mr. McChesney said he has already asked the consultant to prepare this information, and the intent is to have a professional cost estimator go through a schedule of values.

Mr. McChesney said he has also had conversations with Salmon Safe. The Port engaged them to do an initial assessment as to whether the project would qualify for certification. While they liked the proposal, they weren’t able to answer the question. His response to them was that the Port wants to comply with the Salmon Safe Program, but it is too late in the design to incorporate any major changes. Commissioner Grant asked if the Port is required be Salmon Safe certified and to hire a contractor that is Salmon Safe certified, and Mr. McChesney answered no. He said the Port’s site is quite small, and it is not legal for the Port to limit the bidding pool to only those contractors that are Salmon Safe certified. He has advised them that the Port couldn’t incorporate the Salmon Safe requirements into the bid package without knowing what the cost implications will be. A lot of the requirements have to do with stormwater management, and he advised them that the Port already has a comprehensive stormwater management plan. He said he anticipates that Salmon Safe certification will be achievable without going through any costly design changes.

• The Commission could review the Mission Statement. Commissioner Preston agreed to share some ideas with Mr. McChesney.

• The Commission could discuss what the Port could do related to economic development and tourism if money were not an issue. The Port has some big projects in process and on the radar for the future, but they could discuss what they want to do in five, ten and even twenty years.

• The Commission should review and refine the Cash Flow Model as they start to frame a financing plan for the North Portwalk and Seawall Project. The discussion should also include grant opportunities.


Council Member Tibbott was not present to provide a report.


Mr. McChesney announced that the Port would host Congressman Rick Larsen for a tour on February 16th at 2:30 p.m. The intent is to introduce him to the Port, share the North Portwalk and Seawall Project with him, and advise him that the Port would be looking for grant support as the project develops. Commissioners are invited to join Port staff for the tour and a meeting to follow. He thanked Commissioner Grant for setting the event up. Commissioner Grant pointed out that the Port would fall within Congressman Larsen’s district after the election, and he serves on the Infrastructure Committee. There is the possibility of appropriations, and the Port needs to actively pursue grant opportunities. Commissioner Harris said she will see Congressman Larsen at an event in a few weeks, and she was planning to find time to speak with him, as well. Commissioner Grant observed that Congressman Larsen is a moderate, very thoughtful and knowledgeable congressman, and it is important to provide pertinent information and documentation to both him and his staff. Commissioner Johnston said he had an opportunity to meet with Congressman Larsen several years ago with the American Council of Engineering Companies who were lobbying him. To his great credit, he was the only congressman that showed up personally to talk with the group because he was fascinated by engineering projects and infrastructure. He agreed it would be good for the Port to partner with him. Mr. McChesney advised that the February 16th event would be advertised as a special meeting so that all available Commissioners could attend. He noted that the event would need to be open to the public, as well.

Mr. McChesney reported that he visited the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Center at Paine Field as part of the Work Force Development Initiative he was invited to help with. The pre-apprentice and apprentice programs are intended to provide workers for the future, which is currently a daunting task. He said the center offers a variety of training programs.

Ms. Drennan advised that the Corinthian Yacht Club stores a container at the Port, and they have been paying about $25 per month since 2004. The container will be moved to the parking lot next to the Administration Building. As their space is about the same size as a parking stall, the Port has given notice that the rate would be updated to match the commuter parking rate, which is $160 per month. Mr. McChesney said he expects the club will have some concerns about the new rate. The Corinthian Yacht Club puts on the Foul Weather Bluff event each year. However, they recently moved the event to the Kingston Marina and no longer have a significant presence at the Port. Perhaps they will choose to move their container to Kingston.


Commissioner Johnston said he spoke with James Thompson, the president of the Washington Public Port Association (WPPA), who was excited about some of the provisions of the proposed new transportation act, but not all. His overview was that it disproportionately favors democratic party regions over other regions. Most of the projects that are being funded are on the west side of the state. He was very pleased with the Model Toxic Control Act (MTCA) provisions. As per a proposed bill, it will no longer be necessary to have all of the permits before receiving MTCA cleanup funds.

Commissioner Johnston announced he would attend the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County (EASC) Coffee Chat on February 15th regarding the state of health care with Dr. Spitters and other medical leaders in the community.

Commissioner Harris advised that she would also attend the EASC Coffee Chat on February 15th, as well as the Edmonds Economic Development Commission Meeting on February 16th. In addition, she would attend a Zoom meeting of the Everett Port Commission February 15th where members of the public will be invited to call in.

Commissioner Orvis reported that he attended the WPPA Legislative Affairs Committee Meeting. He shared the following:

• The legislation that would have increased the Small Works Roster limit to $500,000 for Ports did not move forward.
• The effort to make it legal to take public input in a remote meeting when not in an emergency situation did not move forward.
• Prevailing wage legislation stalled.
• There is a lot going on related to broadband, but not in the way the WPPA would like.
• There is legislation to set up a pre-application process for shovel-ready projects so they can move forward quickly.
• The legislature is still considering a bill that would allow everyone to be elected at the same time. Commissioner Grant noted this is an authorizing bill, which means each entity could make the choice.
• The WPPA’s spring meeting will be in Skamania and will be in-person.
• With the exception of some very contentious issues (police use of force, wildfire liability, limitations on automatic weapons), the Democratic caucus is basically telling the Republican caucus to sit down and shut up. It appears that the legislature is elected by people that neither know nor care about anything east of the mountains.
• Moving Ahead Washington provided a graph showing where transportation money comes from and how it is being allocated. Funding will include a budget transfer of $2 billion and a $2 billion charge on exported fuel, which they are concerned may be unconstitutional because they are essentially imposing a tax on the residents of Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming. They money is allocated as $1.2 billion for active transportation, $488 million for electrification, $162 million for passenger rail, $2.6 billion for the I-5 bridge and US-2 trestle over the Hood River, $3 billion for maintenance, $1.4 billion to finish the Puget Sound Gateway, and $350 million for ferries. Projects that did not get funding include the County Administration Board, freight mobility, the Strategic Board, the Freight Rail Assistance Program, and the Freight Rail Investment Bank. The transportation budget was negotiated between the chairs of the majority party only, and the regions of the state that weren’t involved have few or no funding measures. The port and local government programs suffered.
• Broadband assistance was funded, but they are still fighting over who will have control of the money. The goal is to provide broadband to low-income households, and a digital equity planning program will be implemented.
• MTCA House Bill 5895 seeks to reverse the 2019 requirement that local governments have all the permits in hand before receiving remedial action grant funding.
• Legislation is proposed that would modify the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
• Twenty-five percent of the Watercraft Excise Tax will now go to derelict vessels. Even with that amount of funding, it will take ten years to clean up the approximately 300 derelict vessels that exist now.
• The voting rights act would require ports to get pre-clearance approval from the Attorney General or Superior Court when they make changes. This won’t affect the Port of Edmonds. It will primarily affect ports that institute an at-large voting process or go from three to five commissioners.
• Legislation would create a shovel-ready certification program for the purposes of pre-determining shovel-ready status, administered by the Department of Commerce.

Commissioner Preston noted that there are a lot of bridges that need to be fixed on both the east and the west sides of the State, and he questioned how much longer they will last. Commissioner Orvis said the state is considering funding for the bridge on Highway 2 in Everett, but he acknowledged that Highway 2 across the state is a disaster. Some funding has been allocated for continued work on I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass, and the Hood River Bridge over the Columbia River will be a maintenance project rather than replacement.

Commissioner Orvis commented that Sound Transit has recently advised that they won’t have enough money to finish what they planned to do because people are avoiding paying fares. The honor system isn’t working, and they are now being sued because they asked someone to confirm he had paid. It is estimated that only about 40% of riders actually pay the fare.

Commissioner Grant advised that Edmonds Mayor Nelson is trying to initiate a low-income, homeless program. It was reported that about 500 residents in the City are vulnerable. It was noted that, based on State law, you can’t remove encampments unless you are in a position to offer services. At a recent briefing, the Edmonds Police Chief reviewed some of the situations the police have experienced. He suggested it would behoove the Port and the City to have a better understanding of the issue and what the law requires.

Commissioner Grant reported that the Edmonds City Council is still working towards revisiting some of the controversial budget items that were passed at the end of 2021, and their next meeting will be February 15th. The City Council changed the Racial Equity Manager to a hired consultant.

Commissioner Grant said he participated in the virtual Maritime Disaster Resilience Workshop, which is a joint grant program in Snohomish and King County. He has previously been involved in disaster and security reliance and has agreed to serve on their Communications Committee. The tsunami buildouts that were shared at the meeting were very interesting. One would think they would be more protected because of the channel, but that is not true. The last tsunami that was declared as a result of the Tongan earthquake resulted in $1 to $3 million damage situations in California, but Puget Sound wasn’t significantly impacted. He commented that a magnitude 7 earthquake or greater could result in a tsunami in Puget Sound causing significant damage. Everyone will need resources, but they won’t likely be available for quite some time. People will have to rely on their own resources.

Commissioner Preston reported that he attended the Edmonds Downtown Alliance (ED)/Downtown Edmonds Merchant Association (DEMA) meeting, where there was a lot of discussion about assessments. Some merchants in downtown Edmonds do not want to pay their membership fees because they don’t believe there is sufficient value. Because it is a state-based program, they will be required to pay the fee.

Commissioner Preston said he may attend the Edmonds Economic Development Committee meeting along with Commissioner Harris.


Commissioner Preston announced that the Commission would recess into an Executive Session at 8:48 p.m. pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(c) to consider the minimum price at which real estate will be offered for sale or lease, as public knowledge would cause a likelihood of decreased price. However, final action selling or leasing public property shall be taken in a meeting open to the public. He advised that the Executive Session would last approximately 20 minutes, and the Commission would resume the public portion of the meeting after the Executive Session. He further advised that no action would be taken after the Executive Session, and the regular meeting would be subsequently adjourned.

The Executive Session was adjourned at 9:10 p.m., and the business portion of the meeting was reconvened and subsequently adjourned.


The Commission meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Orvis
Port Commission Secretary