Port commissioners were updated on the possibility of combining the port’s comprehensive scheme and strategic plan and the removal of a sailboat from Point Hudson at the director’s update Wednesday. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Port of Port Townsend debates combining existing plans

PORT TOWNSEND — Combining the Port of Port Townsend’s strategic plan and comprehensive scheme of harbor improvements is expected to be a topic of conversation for commissioners after a port director’s update meeting this week.

Port of Port Townsend Executive Director Sam Gibboney updated port commissioners Wednesday on general progress made by port staff, as well as potential future issues for the port.

During the meeting, commissioners discussed the need to update the port’s strategic plan, which was adopted in March 2010 and was meant to extend until 2015.

“We’ve needed to update it but haven’t gotten around to it with all the changes at the port,” said port Commissioner Stephen Tucker.

Commissioners discussed the possibility of combining the strategic plan with the port’s comprehensive scheme of harbor improvements, which was adopted in 2013 but is updated annually during the port’s budget discussions.

Port staff and commissioners attended the Washington Public Ports Association small ports conference, where other ports presented on how they had combined their comprehensive scheme and strategic plans into one document.

“I thought it was a good idea since then, the strategic plan gets looked at more than once every five or six years,” said Tucker.

According to Tucker, the strategic plan is more of an aspirational one for the port, while the comprehensive scheme is more of a “nuts and bolts” document that lays out the port’s ideas for taking care of capital projects.

“So the comprehensive scheme is a document we try to keep alive,” Tucker said. “Combining them could be good since then our aspirations and our nuts and bolts could match up.”

Commissioners Tucker and Pete Hanke decided to discuss the possible combination of the strategic plan and comprehensive scheme at an official commissioners meeting later this month.

Commissioner Brad Clinefelter participated by phone in the director’s update.

A sailboat that was beached on tidelands outside of Point Hudson Marina and has since been removed was also discussed at Wednesday’s update meeting.

The sailboat was removed after the Department of Natural Resources took responsibility for the effort.

According to port staff, DNR assumed the financial responsibility of the removal Monday, and on Tuesday, the boat was removed from the DNR tidelands, where it had been sitting since being pushed to shore by high winds Oct. 18.

DNR staff could not immediately comment Thursday on the cost of the removal.

While not addressed in Gibboney’s update Wednesday, the port has also launched a “virtual open house” on the future of Point Hudson to continue collecting public input after a crowded open house Oct. 19.

The port will accept public comment through the website http://tinyurl.com/pdn-pointhudsoninput until Nov. 17.

The director update meetings are open to the public; however, no public comment is accepted, and there is not a published agenda.

“These in-person updates have been scheduled in order to maximize staff and commissioner time and improve efficiency while allowing the executive director to have a dialogue with all three commissioners,” said Kimberly Matej, communications coordinator for the port.

“It’s just so we can kind of chat,” said Tucker.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.