Port initiates Quilcene outreach

Guidance sought on future of marina

QUILCENE — Port of Port Townsend commissioners and staff have launched a public outreach campaign in Quilcene, hoping to hear from community members regarding the future of the Herb Beck Marina.

The outreach effort will be conducted through an online questionnaire and in over-the-phone and in-person interviews with residents over the coming weeks.

“We have found that South County residents are eager to become involved and share their views — and we want to help make that happen in a straightforward, welcoming, and conversational way,” said commission President Pete Hanke in the port’s Wednesday agenda packet.

The outreach efforts were determined to be necessary by commissioners in January, prompting the launch of the “Quilcene Outreach: 2021” project, to encourage dialogue with residents regarding the Quilcene Marina that plays host to the recreational marina, boat ramp and Coast Seafoods Company, according to port documents.

Port officials hope by facilitating the outreach with limited in‐person, phone, and online communication — without direct port staff or commissioner participation — will prompt community conversations on important port issues and gain insights from a wide variety of the Quilcene community, the documents said.

“We put in considerable effort into thinking about Quilcene over the last year,” said Eron Berg, port executive director during Wednesday’s morning workshop meeting. “Our goal is to really hear from the community on the front end before really moving forward on projects.”

The port has contracted Jefferson County communications specialist Jeannie McMacken to conduct interviews with up to 100 residents to learn about how they use the facility, what they value about it and what they would like to see change, the documents said.

Residents will either be contacted directly by McMacken, have the opportunity to schedule an interview with her or complete the online questionnaire about the marina, the documents said.

The information that is gathered will be compiled and presented to the port commissioners sometime between mid-July and mid-August of this year.

The eight-question survey asks residents general questions such as if they use the Quilcene facility, what they value the most about the facility and what aspects of the facility need improvement, among other questions, according to the documents.

More information on the outreach efforts and Wednesday’s workshop can be found at https://portofpt.com/event/may-12-public-workshop/. The outreach project’s questionnaire and how to contact McMacken will be posted to https://portofpt.com/, officials said.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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