By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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Formation of the maximum 14-person committee was discussed at Tuesday's port commission meeting.
“It's important to have good communication between the port and the users of the Port Angeles Boat Haven,” Commissioner Colleen McAleer said.
One-page applications for the committee, which are due March 14, will be online by today on the port's website, www.portofpa.com, port Airport and Marina Manager Jerry Ludke said Thursday.
Instructions for submitting the form are included in the application.
The committee application also will be included in Boat Haven tenants' upcoming March billing statements.
Committee members will examine marina rates as “a paramount issue,” Boat Haven tenant William Spring, founder of the seven-person People for the Responsible Operation of the Port, said Thursday.
Commissioners reviewed a committee charter that included a “scope of matters to consider,” the application and 14 interests from which committee members will be drawn.
The 14 interests are boatbuilder-shipyard, boathouse owner, citizen-at-large, commercial fishing, commercial work boat-industrial, liveaboard, Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, Port Angeles Yacht Club, recreational boater, sport fishing, trailer boater, port board of commissioners, port staff and port harbormaster.
The purpose of the committee is “to provide a forum for open communications between PABH tenants and stakeholders and the port commission and management,” according to the charter.
The committee also will consider marina safety, marketing and marina promotion, coordination of special events and “marina economics,” including revenue, expenses and capital expenditures, according to the charter.
The committee is being formed in the wake of marina tenants' dissatisfaction with 2014 moorage rates that have increased about 10 percent over 2013.
Spring blamed the Boat Haven's 57 percent occupancy rate — 253 of 442 Boat Haven slips are occupied — in great part on rates that he said are too high for many Clallam County residents who use or want to use the Boat Haven.
It's not just about the recession, he said, noting that the Port of Kingston's marina has a six- to eight-year waiting list, depending on boat lengths.
“Our interests have to do with adjusting rates with whatever the market can bear locally, but we are also very concerned with the health and survivability of the Boat Haven,” Spring said.
“It's the local citizens who pay moorage month after month, who give the greatest stability to that facility, and it's really important to bring back local people as much as possible and bring in new customers,” he added.
Commissioners have contended that 2014 increases at the Boat Haven were 85 percent of the average of 20 marinas surveyed, which included Elliott Bay and Bremerton.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.