More than $300,000 raised for Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center pact

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center Public Development Authority has already raised the more than the $300,000 startup costs required in its lease agreement with Washington State Parks.

The sum is two weeks ahead of a Feb. 6 deadline.

“We will have the money we need to get started,” said Dave Robison, public development authority executive director.

The lease, which was signed Nov. 8, also required a $250,000 line of credit. That was approved by First Federal on that day, Robison said.

State Parks is scheduled to cede management of the park's campus portion May 1.

The lease sets up the structure for the public development authority's management of the campus portions of the 434-acre park, which includes most of the buildings, for educational purposes.

State Parks will continue to manage the camping, beach and recreation areas.

Robison would not disclose the source of the startup funds, saying he would do so at the next meeting of the executive committee at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Building 262 at Fort Worden State Park.

The public development authority board's next order of business is to hire a general manager, with the decision scheduled to be made at a meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Fort Worden Commons.

About 100 people applied for the position, Robison said, with the list winnowed to two candidates by authority board member Norm Tonina.

The position will pay around $75,000 annually, which is lower than many executive positions in the hospitality industry, Robison said.

The position of hospitality manager will be filled in the next few weeks, Robison said.

These two new hires will be headquartered in Building 205, the same office as park management and the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, joining Robison who is already working from that location.

The public development authority plans to have a 13-member staff eventually.

Friday was the deadline for a request for proposals to hire a private company that will develop a marketing plan.

Six firms applied, Robison said.

The term of the lease is 50 years, expiring Nov. 8, 2063.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 20. 2014 7:03PM
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