Port of Port Angeles OKs contract with EDC

PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles has approved an annual contract with Clallam County Economic Development Corp.

Port commissioners reviewed the $40,000 agreement in a Tuesday meeting without objection.

Port Executive Director Karen Goschen, who has the authority to sign contracts of up $50,000, negotiated the agreement with EDC Executive Director Bob Schroeter.

“We do have a good working relationship with the EDC, and that’s really important,” Goschen told port commissioners Tuesday.

The contract amount is up from the $30,000 that the port provided to the nonprofit organization in 2016 and 2017.

“Out of all of the agencies that contribute to the EDC, we’re most connected with the same mission statement,” Commissioner Steve Burke said.

“We’re job creation, economic development. … For us to be one of the most heavily vested is exactly where we should be.”

The one-year agreement between the port and EDC includes new deliverables that Goschen negotiated.

In addition to the continued provision of economic research and education, the EDC is expected to perform the following tasks for the port this year:

• Conduct at least one joint board meeting with the port commission.

• Help educate the public on the economic impacts of the forest products industry.

• Support the development of advanced wood products in combination with recycled carbon fiber.

• Support efforts to find a permanent and financially viable way to maintain a safe approach path to William R. Fairchild International Airport.

“We were very pleased that Ms. Goschen brought these issues to our attention to specifically spell out,” Schroeter said.

The ECD is Clallam County’s designated associate development organization.

As such, it receives technical assistance and funding from the state Department of Commerce to support new business development and recruitment and coordinate business retention and expansion, according to an executive summary.

Port Commissioner Colleen McAleer thanked Schroeter for accepting the port’s recommendations on how to help the economy and create jobs for the underemployed and unemployed.

“Historically, that hasn’t been the case, so it is a nice example of a strong relationship working now between the port and the EDC,” McAleer said.

Schroeter, who joined the ECD last May 1, agreed.

“We have had a very effective partnership with your staff, with the three of you and if I may point out specifically with Ms. Goschen,” Schroeter said.

In 2018, the EDC will receive $60,000 from Clallam County, $51,000 from the state Department of Commerce, $15,000 from Olympic Medical Center and $10,000 from the city of Sequim.

The EDC collected $400,000 from Clallam County from 2015 to 2017, including $125,000 last year.

Port Chairwoman Connie Beauvais said the increased payment from the port is reflective of an improved partnership and a shared mission.

“And it also reflects on the additional things that we, as this entity, have asked to be included in your goals this year,” Beauvais said.

The mission of the port is to “bring people, resources and industry together to foster economic prosperity and living wage jobs.”

The mission of the EDC is to “provide a broad range of services to businesses in the county and to those employers considering a move of their business to the county.”

“What I really appreciate [about] our cooperation is when we’re doing a pitch to a business, and the EDC and the port and the city, we’re all together making a unified pitch on that,” Burke said.

“I just think that’s such an important statement to a business to say this is a group that works together.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

Terry Ward, publisher of the Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum, serves on the Economic Development Corp. board of directors.

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