Commission Meeting Minutes 5-26-20

Commission Meeting Minutes 5-26-20

(Via Zoom)              May 26, 2020

Jim Orvis, President
Angela Harris, Vice President
David Preston, Secretary
Bruce Faires
Steve Johnston

Bob McChesney, Executive Director
Marla Kempf, Deputy Director
Renae Ebel, Administrative Assistant
Tina Drennan, Finance Manager
Brittany Williams, Manager of Properties & Marketing

Bradford Cattle, Port Attorney


President Orvis called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.


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






There were no public comments


Mr. McChesney reported that there have been no emergency actions taken by the Executive Director under Emergency Resolution 20-03.


Commissioner Preston referred to Item 4 of the resolution, which states that the “Resolution shall continue in full force and effect until terminated by law or by further Resolution and shall be reviewed as a regular agenda item on the Commission’s agenda until such time as this Resolution is terminated.” He commented that the motion is unnecessary since the Resolution remains in effect until the Commission takes action otherwise. However, he agreed that it is appropriate for the Executive Director to provide a brief report on any actions taken, if any, at each meeting.

Mr. Cattle agreed with Commissioner Preston that no formal action is required, but formal action would cause no harm, either. Because there was a motion on the floor that received a second, the Commission must either vote on the motion or withdraw it. However, he wouldn’t want the motion to be defeated if it is the Commission’s desire to continue the Resolution.


Commissioner Preston explained that he voted against the motion because the Resolution clearly states how it can be terminated and no formal action is necessary at this time.

The Commission discussed the best approach for reviewing the Resolution as a regular agenda at each meeting, as required by the Resolution. Mr. Cattle explained that, as per the Resolution, it should be on each meeting agenda as an information item. This would allow the Executive Director an opportunity to inform the Commission of any actions taken or potential actions being considered. However, if the Commission wishes to consider taking action to terminate the Resolution, it should be listed on the agenda as an action item. The Commission agreed to place the Resolution on each of their agendas going forward as an information item, recognizing that, at some point, they will need to discuss its potential termination.


Mr. McChesney reviewed that the Commission awarded AM Exteriors an additional amount (Change Orders 2 through 5) and a time extension for completion (Change Order 1) of the Harbor Square Building 3 Project on April 13th. The change orders included estimated amounts for Level 2 buildout around windows and bellybands (Change Order 2), sheathing repairs (Change Order 3), additional framing repairs (Change Order 4) and additional beam replacement (Change Order 5). Approval of the change orders was based on estimated time and materials costs.

Mr. McChesney reported that, as work progressed through April and May, it became evident the amount of time and materials for Change Orders 2 and 3 were insufficient to complete the requested work. Additionally, at the Port’s request, the engineer directed more repairs beyond the scope of the first change order. The 2nd floor buildout required more insulation, sheathing, framing and labor hours than originally anticipated. Productivity has also been compromised because of the Covid-19 situation. Consequently, the contractor has requested additional funds to finish out the repair phase of the project. He advised that CG Engineering has reviewed the calculation and justification and has approved the repairs conducted.

Mr. McChesney advised that AM Exteriors has requested Change Order 6 for additional sheathing rot replacement ($3,959.31) and Change Order 7 for buildout around windows ($27,197.09). The fiscal impact of the two change orders would be $31,156.40 added to the contract amount of $998,485.61, for a total project cost of $1,029,642.00 to date. He further advised that two other minor change orders will be brought before the Commission at the next meeting, one related to how the foundation is sealed against the new siding.

Mr. McChesney recommended the Commission authorize him to accept Change Orders 6 and 7 in the amount of $31,156.40 for the Harbor Square Building 3 Structure and Exterior Improvements Contract 2019-328.

Commissioner Faires asked if the $31,156.40 amount includes sales tax, and Mr. McChesney answered no. Commissioner Faires suggested that the words “plus tax” should be included in the motion, and Mr. McChesney agreed that would be prudent.


Commissioner Preston acknowledged the slowdown because of the extra procedures the contractor must go through as a result of Covid-19. He asked how this compares to the slowdown that would have occurred if all of the tenants had been fully functioning in their spaces during construction. Mr. McChesney answered that, from a project point of view, the Covid-19 situation effectively evacuated the entire Harbor Square Business Park. This has been a benefit because the contractor can fence off more of the parking area and there has been less disruption to tenants. However, tenants are starting to come back to work now, and the impacts will become more pressing as the contractor starts replacing the structural beams. On the other hand, as it pertains to time-and-material type work, production is off by 25% to 30%, so costs go up.



Mr. McChesney provided a brief progress report on the Harbor Square Building 3 Project. He specifically noted the following:

• The contract start date was January 22nd, and mobilization and work began on February 24th.
• The original contract completion date was June 25th, but it was extended to August 1st as a result of rot and framing repairs and Covid-19 distancing requirements and productivity loss.
• The original contract award of $769,814.23 has been adjusted to $1,029,642.00 with 7 change orders.
• The project includes the installation of 59 new windows.
• The contract estimate included replacement of 2 beams (490 lineal feet), but was later adjusted to repair and replacement of 7 beams (563 lineal feet). Three beams were repaired in place.
• The contract estimate was adjusted from 500 square feet to 3,100 square feet of rot to repair.
• The contract estimate of 85 lineal feet of structural shoring will increase to accommodate 3 new beams.
• The contract estimate was adjusted from 500 square feet to 3,100 square feet of sheathing replacement.

Mr. McChesney summarized that he is not displeased with the contractor’s performance, but they will be thankful when the job is completed. All of the windows have now been replaced, and the contractor is currently working on shoring for beam replacement. Installation of the glulam beams will start next week. The plastic wrap will soon be removed and the contractor will start installing the vapor barrier wrap. The project should be completed by August 1st. He commented that, with the repairs, he anticipates the building will last for several decades into the future and continue to generate revenue for the Port to justify the investment. Under the current occupancy and rate structure, the building generates about $20,000 a month in revenue, which equates to a pay back of about 5 years.


Mr. McChesney reviewed that a key element of the recently adopted Public Access plan anticipates the potential to rebuild the North Promenade Boardwalk between the Administration Building and the City’s fishing pier. One idea is to replace the time-worn wooden planks with prefabricated concrete panels or something similar. This would reduce ongoing maintenance costs by avoiding the need for continuous timber replacement. Concrete instead of timber would also create a more aesthetically appealing walking surface. However, before making a long-term capital decision on a new walking surface, the Commission requested a preliminary engineering condition survey to evaluate the structural integrity of the underlying support structure. He noted that the Structural Assessment and Feasibility Study, dated May 19, 2020 and performed by C&G Engineering, was attached to the Staff Report. He reviewed the survey, highlighting the following:

• The deck surface shows signs of wear and minor deterioration. Select boards can be replaced as needed as a short-term solution. A major replacement of the entire deck surface will be required within the next 10 years.
• The boardwalk framing is in good condition with no signs of rot or deterioration.
• Significant core rot was observed in the timber piles supporting the east side of the boardwalk (land side). The boardwalk is cantilevered, and the timber piles are on the inboard side, also supporting the bulkhead, itself. The piles are not an immediate danger for pedestrian foot traffic, but they should be periodically monitored for increased damage, which the Port currently does. Forklifts, cars and other vehicular traffic should be restricted from the boardwalk, and the Port already abides by this. The timber piles should be replaced within 5 to 10 years. The photo documentation in the report shows some advanced deterioration in the uppermost portion of the timber piles. There was some discussion about potentially fresh-heading the piles. The piles not only support the inside edge of the promenade; they are also soldier piles holding up the bulkhead. Therefore, it is not possible to re-sleeve or fresh-head them.
• Minor surface rust was observed in the vertical steel piles. The rust has not damaged the piles and can be removed. A new epoxy or cold galvanizing coating can be added to the piles. There are timber piles on the inside and steel piles on the outside.
• Significant rust and damage were observed to the batter piles, and they will need to be repaired or replaced. The pilings that are diagonal to the vertical pieces are known as batter piles.
• The utility conduit hangers under the boardwalk are rusted and should be replaced.
• The existing framing is adequate to support similar wood decking but would need to be upgraded if the decking is replaced with concrete.

Mr. McChesney summarized that the general recommendation is that the existing boardwalk has an approximate operation life of 5 to 10 years without major repair work. The repair work would result in partial to full closure of the boardwalk during construction. He commented that, at some point outward of 10 years, the wholesale overhaul of the boardwalk would be necessary. The Port could likely make it last longer with good maintenance and attention to the structural elements. However, it is important to keep in mind that the permitting timeline and replacement cost will be quite a lot. The work will require permits from the Corp of Engineers, Department of Ecology and City of Edmonds. He estimates the engineering/design/permitting work could take up to five years.

Commissioner Faires said he doesn’t think the report changes Years 1 and 2 of the Port’s implementation schedule for the Public Access Plan because the walkway is currently stable. However, as an adjunction to the present implementation plan, the Commission needs to have a lengthy discussion as to the long-term future of the boardwalk.

Commissioner Preston requested clarification as to whether the pilings could be repaired. Mr. McChesney explained that the vertical timber piles are snugged up close against the bulkhead, so there is not enough clearance to sleeve it down. Given Mr. McChesney’s comments regarding the lengthy permitting process, Commissioner Preston said he would like the Port to start the process as soon as possible. The boardwalk is a vital benefit to the community, and it needs to be in good working condition.

Mr. McChesney agreed with Commissioner Faires that the current boardwalk could be maintained for the next few years. However, it is important to start the comprehensive design/engineering/permitting process. He anticipates the process will be time-consuming and mitigation will be required.

Commissioner Johnson agreed that permitting will be the driver. Replacing the boardwalk with a similar design could be deemed a maintenance project. However, upgrading to concrete decking would be deemed major reconstruction that requires a very lengthy permitting process.

Commissioner Orvis recalled that the Port lost the north bulkhead when the Commission was in discussions about replacing it. The weather ended up making the decision. He agreed that the Port should move forward over the next two years to implement the Public Access Plan as planned, but they need to make a decision regarding the future of the boardwalk soon because it will take several years to reach the point of construction.

The Commission agreed that the Port should continue implementing the Public Access Plan as scheduled over the next two years. However, some long-term decisions relative to the boardwalk need to be made soon. Mr. McChesney suggested that additional discussion on the boardwalk during the upcoming budget process would be appropriate.


Mr. McChesney advised that the Finance and Environmental Committees need to meet soon. In particular, the Environmental Committee needs to meet before the end of June before the Deputy Director retires.

Mr. McChesney gave a shout out to the administrative staff for its work during the Covid-19 closure. He spoke at the last meeting about the terrific job being done by the marina operation and maintenance staff, but the administrative staff has worked hard at home to keep the wheels turning in a way that is not always visible. He is very proud of all of the Port staff.

Mr. McChesney reported that staff is proposing that the Port move forward with the next phase of the plan to reopen the marina, with the intent to go to full operation on June 1st. He invited Ms. Kempf to describe the details.

Ms. Kempf presented the proposed plan for modified full-service operations beginning Monday, June 1st, with certain safety protocols that will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Cautionary measures and modifications to Port operations that will remain in effect include:

• Appointments, protective gear, heightened cleaning protocols, physical distance markers, no extended hours, and one-person-per-vehicle limits for Port vehicles.
• Dry Storage hours will be expanded to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last move being at 4:45 p.m. The parking lot gate on Admiral Way will be opened so Dry Storage customers can park inside the Dry Storage area again. The appointment system will be retained between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. to control the number of people. The final appointment will be at 2:45 p.m. First-come, first-move service will be from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to accommodate people who are returning.
• Washdown spaces will be widened. Currently, they are placing boats on every other washdown. However, it has been determined that removing two washdown spaces will allow them to widen the remaining spaces and have more spaces. Because the washdown space is reduced from previous years, a 45-minute time limit will remain in place.
• Peak season rates will go into effect in Dry Storage on June 1st. Due to the shorter hours this season, complimentary overnight use on A, B and V Docks and the Guest Moorage area will be increased for Dry Storage customers from 1 night per week to 2 nights per week. Commissioner Orvis suggested it is important that the notice of this extension makes it clear that it is due to the reduced hours. This will limit confusion when they are able to go back to the long-term hours and overnight moorage is reduced back to 1 night per week.
• The Fuel Dock will be open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week, and cash, checks, debit and credit cards will be accepted through the fuel house window. Tenants with active fuel cards and up-to-date credit cards on file will be able to fuel 24/7 at the pay-at-the-pump station. Tenants who wish to receive fuel cards can do so seven days a week at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• The Public Sling Launch will continue to operate by appointment only from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, with the last reservation being at 3:45 p.m. The reservation system has worked well so far. Cash, check, credit and debit cards will be accepted as payment. Between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily, the Port will be taking boats out as fast as they come in. There may be a shrimp opening on June 11th, so it might get busy. Halibut is open every other day now.
• The Travelift will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. by appointment only Monday through Saturday. Boatyard access will increase to 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
• Restrooms will remain closed to the public, and three portable restrooms will be provided in the north, mid and south marina parking lot areas for public use.
• The marina bridge will remain closed. A large sign was placed there today to inform the public that there is no park access via the bridge and that access to the park is from Admiral Way only. It is virtually impossible to maintain physical separation while crossing the bridge.
• Hazardous Waste Disposal will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily for tenants and boatyard customers.
• Customer Service will be available at the south widow of Marina Operations from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Staff is now answering the main Marina Operations phone, and all questions, information and appointments can be made on that phone. They will accept cash, check and credit cards at the window. Transactions that require paperwork, such as fuel cards, waitlist applications, and moorage and dry storage sign ups, can be done by appointment only. There are protective measures in place inside where staff feels comfortable bringing one person at a time into the office. Payments can be dropped off at the Marina Operations window or Administration Office during business hours, as well. They can also pay on the website for no added charge.

Commissioner Johnston asked if staff sees any opportunity to change Port procedures to maximize the use of staff as the Port moves through the various stages to get back to full operations. Are there things they want to continue doing long term for the benefit of the Port and its tenants? Mr. McChesney said the appointment system at Dry Storage seems to work well for everyone. Ms. Kempf added that once the guidelines were understood, the majority of people liked the appointment approach, and staff is recommending that it continue for the time being. Most of the changes made thus far have been related to staff’s actual interaction with customers. Mr. McChesney commented that he is not expecting the public restrooms to be permanently closed. The portable units will be provided as an interim, but they don’t know for how long.

Commissioner Orvis asked if extra summer staff would be needed to perform tasks such as extra cleaning. Mr. McChesney answered that they have hired three seasonal staff so far.


Commissioner Harris announced that the Environmental Committee would be meeting sometime before the end of June.

Commissioner Preston reported that he participated in the Washington Public Port Association’s (WPPA) virtual meeting earlier in the morning where it was announced that the annual WPPA Commissioners Seminar would be held virtually. They are concerned about the State budget, as they anticipate drastic cuts. They expect a special legislative session before the end of the year. There was discussion about when port commissions could go back to in-person meetings. Some ports have indicated they’ve had better public attendance at their zoom meetings. He suggested that when the Port Commission goes back to live meetings, they could also do a zoom format.

Commissioner Orvis asked the Port Attorney to comment on how commissions and councils can continue to deal with the need for public hearings if the prohibition on in-person meetings continues for a long time. Mr. Cattle said there may be a hybrid approach for the Commission to conduct public hearings remotely. It will require a physical location where the public can attend the meeting if they want to, but also access the meeting remotely. After the pandemic restrictions are lifted, it might be possible for the Commissioners to continue to participate in meetings remotely.

Commissioner Johnston said he would participate in the Environmental Committee meeting before the end of June He asked if the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County’s virtual meeting is still scheduled for June 3rd. Commissioner Orvis responded that it is planned as a virtual meeting. Commissioners Johnston, Harris and Preston indicated they would participate in the meeting.

Commissioner Faires reminded the Commissioners that Ms. Kempf will be retiring at the end of June and will leave a big hole at the Port. He recognized her accomplishments from the perspective of someone who was a Port Commissioner before she came on board. Marine Services used to be a chaotic operation, and under her leadership, it has quieted down and runs well now. Her environmental expertise has been extraordinary, enabling the Port to set a leadership role in that dimension. The remainder of the Commissioners concurred.

Commissioner Orvis said he was a Commissioner when the first boatyard permit was issued and has witnessed all of the things the Port has accomplished since that time from an environmental standpoint. Ms. Kempf has been the driving force for the Port and her influence throughout the State, particularly in environmental matters, has been astounding. She is highly recognized and much beloved throughout the State’s marine industry, and she will leave a big hole not only at the Port of Edmonds, but in the port business in general.

Commissioner Orvis said he plans to participate in the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County’s virtual meeting on June 3rd, as well. In addition, he will participate in the WPPA Legislative Committee Meeting later in the week via a video conferencing format.

Commissioner Orvis commented that Commissioners Harris and Johnston have responded to the proposed Executive Director’s Evaluation, but he is still waiting for the other two Commissioners to submit their responses. He said he would like to complete the evaluation within the next few weeks.


The Commission meeting was adjourned at 4:09 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

David Preston,  Port Commission Secretary