Port of Port Angeles reports strong March revenue

Marine trades site ready for contractor to install utilities

PORT ANGELES — Port of Port Angeles revenues topped $1 million in a single month for the first time in March, primarily due to a full log ship and an uptick in building leases, Director of Finance and Administration John Nutter told commissioners.

“It was the fourth-best quarter out of the past five years,” Nutter said April 23.

Revenue for the first three months of the year was nonetheless 8 percent below budget, a reflection, Nutter said, of seasonal variations in demand for certain services that were not calculated when making projections. Revenue from moorage and marina and yard fees are typically lower in the winter and early spring and higher in the summer, but it was forecast at a flat, 12-month rate.

New financial software the port is obtaining will enable it to input historical data to create more accurate and reliable budget projections for both revenue and operations, he said.

Meanwhile, preparation of the maritime trades site is nearly complete and ready for the contractor to begin installing utilities and other infrastructure, Director of Engineering Chris Hartman said. More than 20 dump truck loads of concrete, rebar, old building supports and other material left from shingle, lumber and plywood mills that operated on the 18-acre site for more than 100 years has been removed.

Because port staff did the site preparation work, it cost about one-third the amount had the project been hired out, Hartman said. The port has been insourcing more projects like that at the marine trades center as its staffing allows rather than outsourcing to improve cost savings and to build up its capacity.

In other action, the three commissioners unanimously approved the separate auctions of a vessel and a boat house at Boat Haven whose owner was delinquent in marina charges. They discussed the possibility of renting the boat house if it did not find a buyer, which Nutter said is likely because of the expense of bringing the structure up to city and port codes.

Commissioners also approved authorization for the port to apply for a $9 million Maritime Administration Port Infrastructure Development Program grant for the acquisition of two logstackers, two bulk handlers and a conveyor system to expand capacity at the marine terminal facilities. The equipment would enable the port to move cargo and materials faster and more efficiently.

The port’s $2.25 million match would be funding through the state’s Local Government Financial Program, which provides agencies with assistance in financing projects.

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Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached by email at paula.hunt@peninsulanews.us.

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