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Port of Friday Harbor to lease net shed to the Sailing Foundation; Port's 75th anniversary in 2025

LWVSJ Observer Corps: Port Commission January 12, 2024

For 2024, Rich Goodhart will be President, Gib Black will be Vice President and Barbara Marrett will be Secretary. The bylaws will now reflect the meetings are now held on the second and fourth Friday of each month at 10 am. Tami Hayes reported 2023 write-offs were $5,800.

The Veregy Energy Efficiency Report analyzed all energy and water use at port-owned facilities. Lighting was the largest use; the airport terminal was the heaviest user. Veregy recommended upgrading lighting, converting to LED lights, and using timers and occupancy sensors for lighting where possible, low flow water fixtures, converting the Port fleet to electric vehicles, and participating in OPALCO’s net metering program. Gib Black will work with OPALCO to find the most productive way for the Port to reduce energy costs and the best investments in net zero energy measures. The commission requested a deeper look at using a bio-digester at a later meeting.

The Commission is ready to move forward with a lease of the Netshed to the Sailing Foundation. If the Port enters a cost-sharing agreement with the Foundation to maintain the building, they could offer fundraising ideas for the Sailing Foundation to cover their cost share. 

The Harbormaster reported that the number of boat nights dropped in the last few years due to COVID, fuel prices and inflation and may not recover fully until 2025. Revenues from the frequent floater program offset the costs of the new software program to facilitate online reservations. Passenger vessel revenues have dropped off as the Clipper has not been visiting Friday Harbor. Other companies such as American Cruise Lines and Lindblad are expanding their schedules and hope to get more port time in Friday Harbor.

There has been an increase in boats impounded since COVID and the purchase of the shipyards. Vessels are impounded for non-payment of moorage fees with some needing to be destroyed in the boatyard. Some vessels were sold to offset funds owed to the Port with these funds now going into the Derelict Vessel Program. In April there will be a new program run by the Department of Natural Resources for disposing of boats under 34 ft.

The live-aboard status is full in Shipyard Cove and Jensen’s. There are year-round spaces available in the main marina. Besides the 4th of July event. The Port is considering an event at Jacksons Beach this summer for locals and operators. Next year is the Port’s 75th anniversary and the Port may host a large gathering for the community to celebrate this milestone.

For the next meeting, the Executive Director will have concept proposals for the airport properties.

The Gathering of the Eagles would like to make a presentation and discuss an event for their arrival by canoe in late May.

*The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members

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