MINUTES FOR THE
PORT COMMISSIONERS RETREAT
HARMONY HILL RETREAT CENTER
MAY 20, 2008
Call to Order: 9am Adjourned: 4:45pm
Call to Order: Retreat called to order by Commissioner Benavente.
Roll Call: Commissioner Frank Benavente
Commissioner Jack Hamlin
Commissioner John Wyatt
Exec. Director Rich McEachin
Admin. Asst. Terry Veitz
Suspension of Rules: Commissioner Wyatt moved to suspend the rules and go out of the Regular meeting session; seconded by Commissioner Hamlin; passed unanimously.
Commissioner Benavente introduced and welcomed Barbara Levette, private contractor.
Exec. Director McEachin presented a power point presentation regarding Washington Ports as to their purpose, powers, legislative authority and applicable RCW’s.
Commissioners discussed priorities for Exec. Director McEachin to work on. It was mentioned that the Master Plan was important, but the current priorities should be completing the restroom facility, look into potential property sites for a parking facility, look at zoning in the downtown district, look at Mason County Master Plan, Shoreline Master Plan and Urban Growth Area, and to look at all potential funding avenues.
There was discussion on where the Port is and where does it need to go. Barbara Levette made entries on the flip chart of the following: More involvement and reach out to business district and get feedback; show/tell services/facilities Port provides.
The following was noted as “what is going well”: New dock prior to shrimp season; new Exec Director and Admin Asst.; planning documents; publicity opportunities; plans for new restroom; have an office, 4th of July Festival; facility improvements and businesses have benefitted.
The following was noted as “what is changing”: Perception is that Port is changing for better; have plan with breathing room; economic development being done involving education and what is needed; involving college/lakes/EDC/WRIA; more opportunities; partnerships and grants.
Further discussion took place on how to get more information out using press releases, Journal, local radio and possibly a quarterly newsletter.
Break: Commission recessed for 10 minutes (10:40am – 10:50am)
It was noted by Barbara Levette that we are more able to deal with issues never dealt with before; have a role as liaison for economic development; partnerships across the board with more recognition and work. Things are getting done, environmental issues addressed and we have more choices.
The Commission discussed grants. It was noted that Exec. Director McEachin should also look at private entities for grants to include the Paul Allen/Bishop Foundation and Gates.
It was noted that the Washington State Treasurers Office is a good contact for public works grants and the TIB (Transp. Improvement Brd) was another good resource. Other grant opportunities mentioned were RCO, CTED, State Parks, USDA and CERT.
Exec Director McEachin will provide the Commissioners with an updated listing.
Tri-Party Sewer Project:
Barbara Levette gave an update on the Tri-Party Sewer Project. The need for more funding was noted.
Exec. Director McEachin stated that he would be providing information on Commissioners protocol at the future meeting. He also noted his concern of all Commissioners attending outside meetings such as EAB. It was noted that the Exec Director and Admin Asst would be attending the EAB meetings and no more than 1 Commissioner should be in attendance to meet the law.
Commissioner Benavente asked how we should deal with moorage fees and fines on derelict boats. It was felt that we needed an instrument with more teeth to address these issues.
A preliminary listing of “partners” of the Port was handed out and a few other entities added, including the Library and the Post Office. The Commissioners will look at their schedules, meeting times, etc. and make a final decision on assignments to committees and partner meetings at a future meeting.
Introduction of Guests:
EAB Chairman Don LeMaster arrived and was introduced. Past Port Commissioner Dick Patterson was also introduced.
Lunch Break: Commission recessed for lunch (12:15pm – 1:15pm)
EAB Information Update:
EAB member Don LeMaster gave an update on the EAB. Don noted that attendance was lower than hoped and he needed help. Exec Director McEachin stated that possibly an email reminder the day prior to the meeting would be helpful.
Commissioner Benavente noted his concern that the PDA (Public Dev. Authority), formed by the Port was not moving on the Tall Ships program and is it still viable? He feels that the Port possibly needs to re-establish the PDA to get it working more effectively. It was also noted that the Charter for the PDA needs to be updated. Exec. Director McEachin will bring an updated Charter to a future meeting for consideration.
It was suggested that any current PDA members be invited to a future Commissioners meeting for further discussion regarding their activities.
Port of Hoodsport History:
Tom Young didn’t attend the retreat as scheduled, but Commission Benavente and past Commissioner Patterson gave a short report on past history of the Port of Hoodsport. It was noted that Tourism was important to Hoodsport because they don’t have an “industry” per say.
Break: Commission recessed for 10 minutes (2:15pm – 2:25pm)
Commission Roundtable/Vision for the Port:
Commissioner Benavente: Regarding projects, you may get funding, but you must also sustain the completed project and that is hard with a limited budget. Industry is Tourism; Port should stimulate economy in the right way with Economic Development. Admin Asst. Terry Veitz asked about County Lodging Tax Advisory Board process and possibly the Port should insure it is being done within the law.
Commissioner Wyatt: Wishes to see Hoodsport as another Carmel or Monterey waterfront community. More businesses with more diversity.
Commissioner Hamlin: Parking is needed and we are addressing that.
Visitor: Deborah Reis, candidate for County Commissioner came in to listen.
Break: Commission recessed for 10 minutes (2:50pm – 3pm)
Senator and County Commissioner Tim Sheldon:
Senator Sheldon gave a brief update regarding the Tri-Party Sewer project. He feels that PUD 1 should have the oversight of the project for the long term, more funding is required to complete, but residential area has begun. Commissioners noted previous discussions regarding the need for parking in Hoodsport. Sen. Sheldon noted that possibly the $.09 tax for economic revitalization in the County budget could be of some help and he would check on that. Commissioner Benavente stated that he felt it would be helpful if the crab and/or shrimp seasons where expanded to the shoulder seasons to help with business revenue in the Winter.
Break: Commission recessed for 10 minutes (4:10pm – 4:20pm)
Exec. Director McEachin told Commissioners he would provide them with a new list of partner committees for possible Commissioner attendance.
Commissioners reached a consensus about the priorities for Exec Director as follows:
Restroom: Look into $.09 economic revitalization funds via County, funding from CERB (from State to County or ?), look into signage for VIC via Regional Transp Office, look into Tourism Lodging Tax Advisory Committee protocol. (Why does County Fair get funds from LTAC, plus a regular budget?)
Return to Regular Session:
Commissioner Wyatt moved to return to the Regular meeting, seconded by Commissioner Hamlin, passed unanimously.
Commissioner Wyatt moved to adjourn the Regular meeting, seconded by Commissioner Hamlin, passed unanimously.
Minutes Approved 5/28/08:
______________________ ______________________ ______________________
Commissioner Benavente Commissioner Hamlin Commissioner Wyatt