SEQUIM — City of Sequim officials say they’re doing their “due diligence” in seeing what repairs and upkeep may cost at the John Wayne Marina in the event it takes over the property now owned by the Port of Port Angeles.
On Sept. 7, city officials released a request for proposal for a dock and marina assessment for the marina’s existing equipment, structures, pavement and utility systems, including electrical and mechanical.
“We’re doing some due diligence for the marina in the event of further discussion with the Port of Port Angeles in transferring ownership,” Sequim City Manager Charlie Bush said.
The request for proposal (RFP) follows months of discussions and meetings led by the Port of Port Angeles — which developed the marina in the 1980s on property donated by actor John Wayne — after a private developer inquired into the possibility of purchasing it in March.
Public outcry led to listening sessions in Sequim, Port Angeles and Forks about the possibility of private ownership. On July 12, port commissioners determined they would not sell it to a for-profit company or private developer, nor ask for a property tax increase this November to fund improvements.
Port Executive Director Karen Goschen said she has reached out to the city of Sequim, local tribes and nonprofits. She said she met with Bush on Aug. 13 and she’s in the process of scheduling meetings with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Wayne Enterprises and others.
“I’m still in the early stages of meeting with folks,” Goschen said. “Right now, because of time, the city is the only one I have met with so far.”
Her intent, Goschen said, is to gather and provide information, and that she will report to commissioners at a special meeting that has not yet been scheduled.
Goschen said port and city staff are working to schedule a time for possible contractors for the city’s request for proposal to visit the site, tentatively set Monday through Friday next week, so they can have a better understanding of the marina’s condition.
Applications for the RFP close at 2 p.m. Oct. 3.
Goschen said she and staff are OK with the independent study by the city and port officials have been in touch frequently with city staff about the marina.
Previously, city staff objected to private ownership of the marina because they feel the city’s Shoreline Master Program doesn’t allow it. Port staff filed an appeal of that through a hearing, but Goschen rescinded that in July after commissioners opted not to sell to a private developer or for-profit entity.
Port officials previously said the marina doesn’t fit the port’s mission for creating jobs nor has it generated $1.3 million left from $6.2 million in capital outlay since building the facility.
Port officials also said the marina needs $22 million by 2035 to fund breakwater and float improvements.
Bush said the study of the marina helps city leaders “in general, weigh their options.”
“It makes sense for the city to undertake,” he said.
As for the likelihood of purchasing or transferring ownership, Bush said, “I think there are very few potential public agencies that would be able to take it on.”
The city’s marina assessment asks contractors to estimate costs for repairs and capital improvements/maintenance costs to keep the 300-slip marina in sound operating condition for 20 years. The proposal asks for three phases; ncluding high priority deficiencies/ emergency repairs, projects in the next five years and low priority projects in the next 20 years.
Bush said there are a lot of things to consider about the marina.
“We want to be as clear as possible on costs,” he said.
“We want an independent perspective. It’s a big policy decision for the [city] council and we want to know what it would mean for our long-term budget.”
For more information on the John Wayne Marina, visit portofpa.com/186/John-Wayne-Marina or call 360-457-8527.
For more information on the city of Sequim’s Request for proposal, visit www.sequimwa.gov or call 360-683-4908.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].