Port of Port Angeles views 2020 deficit

PORT ANGELES — A preliminary budget shows the Port of Port Angeles is expected to operate nearly $774,000 in the red in 2020, port commissioners heard Tuesday.

The $9.6 million draft operating budget includes a $1 million expenditure for dredging at the port’s cargo terminal, Terminal 3, in Port Angeles Harbor.

“That’s a one-time expense, or many years between,” said Melinda Smithson, port director of finance and administration, after a commissioners’ work session Tuesday.

Terminal 3, where cargo vessels are loaded to transport logs overseas, was last dredged to 45 feet below sea level in 1976.

Sediment has built up in recent decades, causing concern for vessel captains. Port officials said the dredging project would alleviate the concern for the next 40 years.

$8.8M in revenues

The port’s preliminary budget shows $8.8 million in total revenue and $9.6 million in total expenditures for an operating deficit of $773,951.

“It will probably remain a deficit, but we’re hoping to reduce that deficit,” Smithson said.

The port operated with a $1.6 million surplus in 2016, a $1.7 surplus in 2017 and a $2.9 million surplus in 2018. Port staff is projecting a $376,055 operating surplus in 2019.

The three port commissioners will receive a proposed 2020 budget Oct. 22, Smithson said.

Public hearing slated

A public hearing on the budget will be held Nov. 5.

Port Commissioner Colleen McAleer said the preliminary draft was a “work in progress.”

McAleer and fellow port commissioners Connie Beauvais and Steve Burke took no formal action on the budget.

The preliminary budget includes 2.5-percent raises for port employees, resulting in a $87,000 spending increase for the countywide taxing district, Smithson said.

Salaries and benefits account for about 45 percent of the port’s total spending, Smithson said.

The port’s operating budget is divided into 13 categories, four of which are non-revenue-producing.

Budget breakdown

Here is a breakdown of the budgeted revenues and expenditures for each category as shown in the preliminary budget:

• Marine terminal: $2.7 million in budgeted revenues, $2 million in expenses.

• Marine trades area: $607,855 in revenues, $410,386 in expenses.

• Log yard: $667,087 in revenues, $989,815 in expenses.

• William R. Fairchild International Airport: $349,845 in revenues, $676,250 in expenses.

• Airport rental properties: $1.3 million in revenues, $643,909 in expenses.

• Sekiu Airport: $14,600 in revenues, $36,296 in expenses.

• Port Angeles Boat Haven: $1.6 million in revenues, $783,680 in expenses.

• John Wayne Marina: $1.5 million in revenues, $853,977 in expenses.

• Rental property: $113,753 in revenues, $107,438 in expenses.

• Mechanical maintenance: $0 in revenues, $135,766 in expenses.

• Facilities maintenance: $0 in revenues, $248,461 in expenses.

• Administration and general: $0 in revenues, $2.2 million in expenses.

• Business and economic development: $0 in revenues, $578,341 in expenses.

Port commissioners will consider adopting a final 2020 budget Nov. 13, Smithson said.

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

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