PORT ANGELES — Two of the three Port of Port Angeles commissioners do not support funding improvements to John Wayne Marina with a tax levy that voters would consider Nov. 6, they said this week.
A third commissioner said he is taking a wait-and-see attitude until a special port commissioners’ meeting at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Port Angeles City Council chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fifth St.
Commission President Connie Beauvais, representing the west Port Angeles-West End District 3, and port Commissioner Colleen McAleer, representing Sequim-area District 1, where the marina is located, said in separate interviews that they are opposed to a levy increase to fund $11 million of $22 million needed for float and breakwater improvements by 2035.
Commissioner Steven Burke, representing Port Angeles-area District 2, said Tuesday he wants to hear from Beauvais and McAleer and consultant Holly O’Neil at Thursday’s special meeting before making a decision.
O’Neil said this week she will give a presentation on the 75 written surveys on the marina’s future that she received and review the three commissioner’s meetings that she facilitated July 2 in Forks, Port Angeles and Sequim.
The agenda includes a public comment session of up to 20 minutes on a resolution on a property tax levy that must be submitted by Aug. 7 to the county Auditor’s Office if it’s to go on the Nov. 6 ballot, and a direction that the commissioners will give to staff on mapping out the next step in the marina’s future.
The levy would add 6.4 cents per $1,000 valuation onto property owners’ tax bills countywide.
Taxes on a $250,000 home would increase by $15.92 a year — a nearly 36 percent hike from $44.77 a year to $60.69 a year.
Most residents who attended the July 2 meetings said they want to keep the 300-slip Sequim Bay marina public but said there was little likelihood a tax levy would be approved or outright opposed a tax increase.
“I believe it needs to stay in public hands, but I don’t believe the entire county would support a levy and it would be a waste of time and money to propose it,” McAleer said.
Beauvais said she wants to explore other options for the marina and hopes to hear about them Thursday.
“I am definitely not in favor of putting a tax levy on the ballot for John Wayne Marina, for a capital project for a recreational marina, when there are still too many infrastructure needs we have across the county,” she said.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.