2020 September 16 Virtual Regular Port Commission Minutes

Date Published: October 7, 2020


September 16, 2020              Call to Order:   9:00am                 Adjourned:  11:45am   Meeting Held at:              Via Zoom Conference Call

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

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

Public: Mike & Geri Purvis – Hood Canal Grocery   Jan Morris – Hardware Distillery   Heidi McCutchen – Mason Chamber of Commerce  Bill Grondin- Hoodsport Hills – CourseWarden

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 August 26, 2020, Commissioner Booth seconded, unanimously approved.

Vouchers:  Commissioner Brazil made a motion to approve the Vouchers 1of1 September 2, 2020 for $7,663.27 & 2of2 September 16, 2020 for $204.33, Commissioner Booth seconded, unanimously approved.

Public Communication:   J. Morris said Heidi at the Chamber did a survey.  Heidi posted an online survey regarding the importance of the public restrooms in Hoodsport.  The survey had over 250 responses showing 82% of the people who took the survey thought it was extremely important to have public restrooms, 11% thought it was somewhat important. H. McCutchen asked the port director if she could be the Host of the Zoom meeting so that she could share the survey statistics from her computer.  M. Purvis said it mirrors the survey run 10-12 years ago. Commissioner Brazil said he did not see the survey. G. Purvis said it was shared on the Visitors Center page and Lake Cushman community group page.  M. Purvis said we think the restrooms need to be fixed, it’s the right thing to do. They use our parking lot, park every which way then maybe 10% of the people come into the store. There were comments from people who came to the public restrooms and then to shop, the restrooms don’t’ draw people but welcomes customers to the community.  Commissioner Booth said we all think the town needs public restrooms, the question is who will pay for the repair, water, electricity, supplies and maintenance.  Who will take it over?  M Purvis said its obvious, the people who funded it.  We need a group to help fund $10.K per year which is what I see is the deficit. I see that as the missing component, we should be able to find that income. How do we open it, we need to open it.  Commissioner Petz said we are still under COVID-19 and asked the port director what the state requirements are for opening the public restrooms.  The port director said with the current drain field situation, the restrooms were open Friday through Monday.  Cleaning personnel should wear protective gear and wipe down high touch surfaces routinely, possibly every hour. H McCutchen said there are COVID related funds available.  Commissioner Booth asked H. McCutchen, are you using COVID funds for the Visitors Center?  H. McCutchen said no, we are not eligible. Government entities could have funding.  M Purvis said why don’t we raise the taxes if people want the public restrooms. J Morris said, how much does it cost, it should be free. Commissioner Booth said even if we raise the tax levy, since we have a very small tax base, it will not be enough money, how does the port recoup $56,000.  The port director said the port of hoodsport’s annual tax-based budget is $97,500.00, the scenario to pump the septic tank as needed, supplies, maintenance, electricity, insurance and now water will cost upwards of $56,000. per year which comes to 57% of the ports budget.  To install a new drain field is approximately $75,000 and will deplete the port’s reserve by 65%. The port director said the port needs to have constant long term continuous monetary commitments to run the public restrooms.  H. McCutchen said doesn’t the lease say if the drain field needs to be repaired, the port has to fix it? Why is that a problem, if the community wants it and the people said they want it, just do it. Commissioner Brazil said we looked at all the ways to replace the drain field initially, there were no feasible alternative left, then we looked at the budget, it does not pencil out. Commissioner Petz said we have a balanced budget and we are going to have budget issues, looking at the latest calculations the idea of continuously pumping, we are looking at spending way too much money, the numbers put together by the port director for the pump out scenario is not sustainable.   Going back to the taxes, taking the highest levy may not work, it may raise the budget 1-2%, we have never taken advantage of the highest levy, we may take a harder look at the numbers.  If we can get the public restrooms operable, maybe someone can take it over.  M Purvis said if the port and the store put in a drain field at the same time we can each pay for it.  Commissioner Petz said we could use the approach of putting in drain field laterals in between the current drain field.  M Purvis said no you can’t because I would have to shut down my store.  If you want to use the original drain field, it would not allow me to have a reserve for myself, I am suggesting to sit down and find solutions. M Purvis said we would like to work on how you plan to move forward with the drain field.  There is a second spot above the drain field and the third spot is the county property.  Commissioner Petz said the county property is not feasible because the 4 homeowners were not in favor and one of them has a well head that was well under the county setback limit.  The upper ground is not going to work because when we walked it with B. Sund the septic designer, he said there wasn’t enough soil and it would be an expensive treatment.  M Purvis said B Sunds schedule and my schedule are conflicting.  Commissioner Petz said maybe we could use a different designer; I will talk to Alex at the County to see if he will extend the emergency repair permit. M Purvis said we need to walk the area to understand correctly how we do this; we need to weigh out if in fact the port can or wants to do this.  If it’s a forced issue, it won’t work so who is the entity that could take it over.  Commissioner Petz said it comes back to Commissioner Brazil and Commissioner Booth, how do you feel about working with M Purvis to get a drain field and to stay in the public restroom business.  Commissioner Brazil said, we can take the highest levy, but I am not in favor of running an all-out campaign to raising property taxes.  If it will deplete our budget or reserves, I am not in favor. Commissioner Booth said I am not opposed to taking the highest levy, but it is probably not enough for the port to maintain the public restrooms.  The port recently spent $10,000. on small dock repairs, we are looking at grants to repair the dock which will require a match. I don’t think it is wise as commissioners to deplete what little we have as reserves to replace the drain field.  I think the government has some responsibility, WSDOT, the County or Chamber should take it over.  M Purvis said I agree, travelers use it much more than customers.  We need a business group to help with the money, raise the money and cooperate to receive it and have a way to direct it just for the public restrooms.  We could call it “Friends of the Hoodsport public restroom group”. Commissioner Petz asked the port director how the port could receive monetary gifts, she said the port could receive monetary gifts as long as they were slated for and to be used for a specific purpose. H McCutchen said maybe the port could get a LID local improvement district.  Commissioner Brazil said that is a good idea, I will look in to how it works.  M Purvis said don’t open it until we find a resolve for the drain field that doesn’t hamper my business.  As far as money goes anything we can do or put in we can help finance it, only if we can get an agreement and get a plan.  Commissioner Brazil asked H. McCutchen if she could help with grants or if her organization can help contribute.  She said she checked with the assessor for the current rate the port can raise its levy to, she said she would be happy to walk the drain field property with M Petz and M Purvis and happy to help however she can.  J Morris asked if the drain field can be installed on both the Purvis property and the county property. M Purvis said he thought there was enough room above the existing drain field.  We need to resolve this drain field problem before we get to the point to increase taxes.  H McCutchen said I am signing off. At 11:08 am the screen went blank because H. McCutchen did not relinquish being the Host before she signed off.  The port director tried contacting her to no avail.  The port director finally created a new port meeting room at 11:30am and re invited the port commission back to the regular port commission meeting.

Commissioner Reports:  Commissioner Brazil said he walked the 9-hole disc golf course and it is very nice, he went across the street to the original disc golf course and could not find the basket to hole #1. When he spoke to B Grondin told him he was not in charge of the 18-hole disc golf course side, M. Rothrock is in charge.  Commissioner Brazil said the course is way overgrown and needs to be maintained.  The port director said she authorized concrete to be delivered at M. Rothrocks direction for the new pads on the 9-hole disc golf course side.  Commissioner Booth said Marine Floats will be completing the float repairs underneath the dock today.  Two ladders were ordered and will be delivered when they come to finish the job so there is not an extra trip charge. B. Osborne said he would install the ladders.

Port Maintenance Reports:

Hoodsport Trail Park & Disc Golf Park:

Hoodsport Marina, Dock & Waterfront Park: Waiting for the ladders to install on the dock.

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 publics use provided by the Port and the Purvis’. Portable restrooms are serviced Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and pumped additionally when needed. Maintenance personnel monitors garbage and supplies additional toilet paper as needed.

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

Port Directors Report

Commissioners need to turn in their 3rd ¼ per diem timesheets by the end of September.  A Facility Use Agreement between the Port of Hoodsport and YSS Dive Shop will be reviewed by the port’s attorney.  An application was submitted to DNR for the first step in approval submitted by Ben Carlsen, forester hired to manage the Hoodsport Trail park trees. The plan is to harvest trees identified to have root rot before they become hazardous and dangerous to the public.  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:                  August Financial statement was reviewed      Old Business:        As discussed above           New Business:       None

Next Meeting:          September 30, 2020 to be held via internet in a ZOOM chatroom venue

Adjourn:        Commissioner Petz made a motion to adjourn the Regular Port Commission meeting, Commissioner Booth seconded, it was unanimously approved, meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

2020 Regular Port Commission Meetings are scheduled as follows:     Wednesday’s at 9am      September 30 October 14,28

 Commissioner Petz                  Commissioner Brazil                Commissioner Booth