PORT TOWNSEND — Port commissioners approved a two-year lease with the Port Townsend Furniture Clinic and accepted a letter of intent from the Port Townsend Aero Museum to expand its display area at Jefferson County International Airport.
Both actions took place Wednesday afternoon during a special Port of Port Townsend session that included a vote to offer the executive director job to Eron Berg, the current city supervisor/attorney for Sedro-Woolley.
The furniture clinic at 308-A 10th St. in Port Townsend is owned by Tom Powell as a sole proprietorship. Powell uses the office space in addition to his furniture repair and finishing business.
Powell has been a port tenant in good standing at the same location since 2007, Deputy Director Eric Toews said.
The lease, unanimously approved to begin Feb. 1, includes three one-year extensions for 1,000 square feet of manufacturing space without guaranteed parking associated with the building, Toews said.
Commissioner Bill Putney clarified with Toews there are no deviations from a standard port lease.
Rent of $580 per month before leasehold excise tax was calculated at 58 cents per square foot, Toews said.
The 12.84 percent tax brings the total monthly expense to $654.47, according to port documents.
Commissioner Pam Petranek noted an increase of $25 per month from the previous lease, but she approved it along with Putney and board President Pete Hanke.
“Everything else about it sounds really good,” Petranek said.
Commissioners also directed staff to move forward on potential plans for the Aero Museum to expand.
Museum Director Michael Payne wrote a letter to commissioners dated Nov. 22 that formally requested a new lease on port property south of the current display building. The 90-foot by 60-foot space, at 105 Airport Road, currently is unoccupied, he wrote.
“That site has been problematic in the past because of its proximity to wetlands,” interim port Executive Director Jim Pivarnik said. “Mike and I met about that, and Mike took the step of doing a wetland delineation.”
The report, finalized last May, identified vegetation and soils, and it confirmed a slope wetland, which was mapped by the contractor, Marine Surveys & Assessments.
Pivarnik said the next step would be an update to the Airport Layout Plan, which will need input from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The commissioners’ acceptance of the letter of intent allows Payne to approach Jefferson County’s Department of Community Development for a pre-application meeting.
“It is intended to allow the process to commence that will, if successful, lead to a future lease amendment that would be brought before the commission,” Toews said.
Payne’s proposal would be to add 5,400 square feet of museum display area to the existing 16,200 square feet. The museum was founded in 2001 and has operated continuously since 2008, he said.
Payne described a new south-facing wall that will incorporate glazing to match the glazing currently on the upper windows of the north side of the building.
“The new glazing on the south wall will not only allow additional light into the building and thereby reduce energy dependence, it will add a finished look to the museum campus as viewed from [state] Highway 19,” Payne wrote.
“The improved appearance will only help to bring new people and business onto the Jefferson County Airport property in the years to come.”
Commissioners invited Payne to speak during the meeting, and he said the museum is unusual because it operates and restores antique aircraft, and young people play a significant role.
“Those kids don’t pay a penny for their experience at the museum,” he said.
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].