Clallam County commissioners have extended a lease with the Port of Port Angeles to use the port’s 1010 Building as a social distancing center during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rob Ollikainen/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County commissioners have extended a lease with the Port of Port Angeles to use the port’s 1010 Building as a social distancing center during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rob Ollikainen/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County extends facility lease with Port of Port Angeles

Social distancing center still in place

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County has extended its lease with the Port of Port Angeles to provide a social distancing center for the homeless population during the coronavirus pandemic.

The three county commissioners approved Tuesday an assistance agreement with the port to continue the current lease, at a lower rent, for the 1010 building in west Port Angeles through Dec. 31.

The county’s current lease was set to expire Friday.

“My thanks to the Port of Port Angeles for their partnership,” Chairman Mark Ozias said before the vote.

Port of Port Angeles commissioners approved the same agreement Tuesday.


The new lease lowers the county’s monthly rent from $16,000 to $15,000. It requires the county to provide 24-hour indoor supervision and 12 hours of outdoor security per day.

“Presently, we have 24-hour security seven days a week that’s on the premises,” said Kevin LoPiccolo, assistant director of Clallam County Health and Human Services, in the commissioners’ work session Monday.

“The port did agree to reducing that to 12 hours a day.”

County Commissioner Randy Johnson, who was involved with the negotiations, said the new lease “made a lot of sense.”

“The fact that the port reduced (the rent) slightly, that’s important,” Johnson said.

“Most important was the fact that we now have 12-hour security, which absolutely, A, makes sense, and B, of course, will drop our cost significantly.”

Johnson added that the lease was “pretty straightforward.”

The rent was lowered by $1,000 because an unused section of the building was removed from the lease, LoPiccolo said.

The Social Distancing Center has an isolation wing for people with viral symptoms and space for healthy homeless individuals who cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance.

The shelter near William R. Fairchild International Airport is being staffed with assistance from Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP).

It is serving about 50 individuals daily.


Clallam County received a $433,000 COVID-19 homeless-relief grant from the state Department of Commerce to fund the shelter’s startup and first three months of operation.

County Chief Financial Officer Mark Lane said the Commerce grant will be exhausted by the end of this month.

In addition to the rent, the county is paying about $32,000 per month to provide security and $30,000 per month to provide three meals daily for its 42 to 51 clients, LoPiccolo said in a prior work session.

Johnson has said the total monthly cost to the county is about $85,000.

Commissioners on Tuesday approved a call for an Aug. 11 public hearing on a series of debatable budget emergencies, including $425,000 for the continued operation of the COVID-19 social distancing shelter through the end of the year.

“Of this, $255,000 will be covered through the CARES Act, and then the remaining $170,000 will be funded through the general fund,” Lane said, referring to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

“The reason for that is, under CARES, we are only allowed to reimburse costs that are incurred through Oct. 31. So the CARES allotment, the $255,000, represents the estimated operating costs of that facility through the end of October.”


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

More in News

Jefferson County issues first report of COVID-19 death

Elderly woman was in hospice care for other ailments

The Sequim Warming Center at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is open evenings this fall and winter when predicted temperatures fall to 35 degrees or colder. Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group
Sequim Warming Center open, modified for pandemic

A warm place for those who need it in Sequim… Continue reading

Peninsula jobless rate drops in October

The jobless rate continued to fall on the North Olympic Peninsula in… Continue reading

Astronomy lecture set for Sunday

Troy Carpenter will present “It’s very cold in space —… Continue reading

George Dooley, left, and Edward Alders with the Sequim Valley Lions Club work together to load a vehicle with food during the Family Holiday Meal Bag distribution program in Sequim.  Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group
Meal distribution helps 900 families in Sequim

Organizers expect continued, growing need in community

Brinnon students to shift back to hybrid model

Starting Monday, students to have three days online, two days in person

Peninsula hospitals restricting visitors

All three North Olympic Peninsula hospitals are restricting visitors amid high community… Continue reading

Long-term care facility reaches 22 total cases

Positive return rate ‘outstrips’ rise in testing, official says

Most Read