2020 July 22 Virtual Regular Port Commission Minutes

Date Published: August 27, 2020


 Call to Order:   9:00am                                                    Adjourned:  10:50am

Meeting Held at:    Via Zoom Conference Call

Roll Call:        Commissioner Petz – Commission Chair        Commissioner Brazil             Commissioner Booth

Staff Present:     K. Wyatt – Executive Director     B. Osborne – Director of Maintenance      S. Lindgren – Maintenance

Public:        Jan Morris – Hardware Distillery         Heidi McCutchen – Mason County Chamber of Commerce

Approval of Agenda:  Commissioner Brazil made a motion to approve the agenda as written; Commissioner Booth seconded; unanimously approved.

Minutes: Commissioner Brazil made a motion to approve the regular port commission minutes from July 8, 2020, Commissioner Booth seconded, unanimously approved.

Vouchers:  The following Vouchers/Warrants were approved for payment: July 31, 2020 2of2 in the amount of $9,356.28

Public Communication:  J.Morris said she contacted the chamber for possible funding on septic grants and invited H. McCutchen to share their resources. H. McCutchen said she knew of septic vaults that failed at Steamboat Island and had some possible solutions. Commissioner Petz said the history of the  public restroom septic system failure started in 2018, water surfaced in two drain field laterals because of overwhelming usage that exceeded the capacity of the design of the system and depth of two end laterals. The laterals were placed too deep on compacted soil with no drainage, the port evaluated a couple of approaches, dig another drain field in the reserve area or use adjacent property owned by the County. Neighboring owners of the County property were not in favor because there are water wells within a 100’ radius and other issues.  There is a reserve drain field area designated for a back up drain field but the property owner is reserving the right to use it for their future expansion.  The only current option was a suggestion from them, they proposed using the existing drain field to its capacity, monitoring the septic tanks and use periodic pumping the of the tanks as needed which could be weekly or more in the summer months (twice a week or more during major holidays and high traffic times) then bi monthly or more as needed in the winter months.  The septic tank is 2000 gallons and it may cost up to $600. per pump. May – September, 5 summer months times 4 or 5 pumps per month or 20-25 times, October-April 7 winter months times 2+ pumps or 14-20 times on top of maintenance, supplies, electricity, and insurance.  IGA currently pays the for the water. H. McCutchen asked if there was clear access to the tanks. Commissioner Petz said there are covers that are designed to take the weight of a vehicle, there are no access problems unless people are parking on top of them. H. McCutchen said she would like to see if she can get more information on a septic solution acceptable to all parties, with COVID-19, I hate to see closure of the public restrooms burden other business owners. Commissioner Petz said the port has rented portable restrooms with hand washing stations for the publics use.  The public restrooms support all businesses in downtown Hoodsport and travelers. IGA’s view is that 10% of the people using the public restrooms use their store, the other people shop at other businesses, are boaters, hikers and travelers.  H. McCutchen said she could find a college student who could count how many people who use the public restrooms and shop in town. She said she would like to poke around to find solutions.  Commissioner Petz said the Port has other things it is responsible for and has concluded the public restrooms do not make financial sense, we do not want to be in the public restroom business, we have a balance budget and pumping it will break the budget.  We know it is needed, would like to keep it alive and would like to see another entity or the community take it over.  We can surplus it to an entity, we have tried to get WSDOT, the County and the Chamber to take it over. The property owner does not want it either, they would rather have it removed from their property.  H. McCutchen said if there is no solution, she is not sure that anyone would want it.  She said if it were functioning as it should be, would the Port want to get out of the business?  Commissioner Petz said, Yes, we want out of the business, we cannot sustain it financially. Commissioner Brazil said 35% of the budget goes to the public restrooms, we must find a way to let someone else take over, we cannot maintain it, raising taxes will not do it.  We were naïve when we did an analysis of how many people would be using the public restrooms and over the years more and more people are coming to Hoodsport and traveling on Highway 101.  WSDOT would be the sensible entity to take it over.   J. Morris said the business pulse is that everyone wants the public restrooms because we are only business self sufficient with public restrooms, we get overflow, it is critical to our businesses. H McCutchen said the port should raise their taxes, the business owners are hard hit with COVID and shouldn’t have to pay for the restrooms, everybody should contribute.  If you tell residents the town needs the public restrooms to support the business community and they feel raising the tax rate benefits them, they will support it. You should increase the tax levy.  Commissioner Petz said we have purposely not increased the tax levy since 2010, I guess we could take the highest levy available without a vote.   Commissioner Petz said we are operating under emergency repair and the authorized emergency permit will expire in October 2020.  J Morris said she could ask several of the business owners if they are willing to pump the system one time per year and maybe they are willing to pay the pumper directly.  Commissioner Booth asked if H. McCutchen was familiar with a pumper who could pump at a better rate.  H. McCutchen said they use a specific company who takes care of the portable restrooms at the visitors’ center. Commissioner Petz said he was in contact with B. Sund who will talk to A. Payse at Environmental health to find out if it is even an option to use the existing drain field with the 7 laterals as is and monitor and pump it. J. Morris said she would like to help Commissioner Booth in writing a grant for the docks.

Commissioner Reports:  Commissioner Booth met with Jack Inslee of Marina Floats regarding emergency repair on the dock to the gangway and the end finger of the dock which appears to be missing a float.  She said Marine Floats is on the MRSC roster and bid came out to $5000.00 for materials, permits and labor.  Commissioner Petz asked about the cost to repair the dock and wondered if we needed a vote to approve the repair. Commissioner Booth said when the dock repair company opened the planks another area was sunken in and in need of repair.  B Osborne said the contractor will be coming back to finish the job.  S. Lindgren said they have another couple of days to finish the job, maybe longer.  Commissioner Booth said the final day of shrimping was called off.  Commissioner Petz said he was working with the state to relax restrictions on shellfish harvesting in Hoodsport.  The Public restrooms was on the list of concerns.

Port Maintenance Reports:

Hoodsport Trail Park & Disc Golf Park:  S. Lindgren said he is clearing hiking trails as needed, putting up a small reader board and putting up signs along the trail. B. Osborne said the disc golf course and parking area is looking great, people are playing a lot of disc golf. He sent a link via email of photos of the disc golf course. We put in 3 loads of fill by the gazebo which makes it easier to mow.  We will be moving pads after August, there are 9 pads in storage, and we will use those first.   B. Grondin took down the sign on the other side and re installed it on the 9-hole side.  He put in pilons, moved rocks around, put up a fence around the picnic table to protect people for discs and is making progress.  Commissioner Petz said we will eventually want to get the expert course usable.  We need to get the Memorandum of Understanding firmed up with the disc golf club.  The port director said she has emailed the president with detailed information on what the Port needs from them, with no response.  Commissioner Brazil said he was going to the next disc golf club meeting and would like all the information from the email so he will know what to ask.

Hoodsport Marina, Dock & Waterfront Park: S. Lindgren said lots of people are using the dock and the waterfront park. The divers from next door are using a table at the waterfront park for their students but are not blocking other tables that are used by the public, they go down the steps and swim in the shallows.  Commissioner Petz said they need to be sensitive to the public families using the park and asked the director to contact the insurance company to talk about liability and discuss it with the dive shop.

Public Restrooms: Currently closed to the public for health and safety of the public and personnel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Portable restrooms with hand washing stations are available for the public provided by the Port and the Purvis’. The company who services the portable restrooms are cleaning them Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.  The director is calling with extra service to the portable restrooms when needed. The Port personnel are checking garbage and supplying additional toilet paper daily.

Port parking/Office building/Maintenance shed: B. Osborne and S. Lindgren have Security App’s on their phones and are monitoring the live stream surveillance cameras that oversee the public restrooms, office building, shed, parking lot, waterfront park and the dock.

Port Directors Report     The port director consulted with the ports attorney, there is a way to take donations to assist with restroom costs if money is specifically slated and used properly.  There is also a way to help the community with specific needs such as supplies or pumping of the public restroom but was advised to stay away from binding contracts.  The port is writing an adapting, evolving policy to meet evolving port policy requirements as per the Governors guidelines around ports and COVID-19.  Governor Inslee extended the OPMA guideline to August 1,2020, Mason County opened the county up to Phase III which allows people to gather in groups of 50 or less, wear face masks, and social distance six feet away. Due to the most recent Governors mandate, COVID-19 health and safety compliance signs are posted on all port properties for the public’s information and on the office window.  The Port of Hoodsport port commission continues using the ‘Zoom’ virtual chat room venue for regular port commission meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, the public can request an invite to attend the meetings.  Meeting dates are posted on the port’s website, on Mason TV, in the WPPA newsletter and posted on the port office window. Currently, the public may email the port for an invitation to attend the regular port commission meeting.  The request must be received by 4pm the day prior to the scheduled meeting.

Budget:     There was not a Financial statement to discuss              Old Business:        As discussed above    New Business:       None

Next Meeting:          August 12, 2020 to be held via internet in a ZOOM chatroom venue

Adjourn:      Commissioner Brazil made a motion to adjourn the Regular Port Commission meeting, Commissioner Booth seconded, it was unanimously approved, meeting adjourned at 10:50 a.m.

2020 Regular Port Commission Meetings are scheduled as follows:     Wednesday’s at 9am     August 12, August 26

  Commissioner Petz                  Commissioner Brazil                Commissioner Booth