PORT TOWNSEND — Port commissioners will meet Wednesday with officials from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation to discuss a potential two-year partnership to study the future of Point Hudson.
The public meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. at the port commission building, 333 Benedict St. in Port Townsend.
Former Port Townsend City Manager David Timmons brought the idea to the port and suggested the agencies work in tandem to preserve Point Hudson, port Executive Director Jim Pivarnik said.
“The trust came to us basically saying we want to be partners in preserving Point Hudson, and we said, ‘Great, we need partners,’” Pivarnik said. “We can’t do this by ourselves.”
A draft agreement to be presented Wednesday says the trust recently has been designated as the lead agency responsible for the implementation of the newly designated Maritime Washington National Heritage Area, and the parties will work toward a mutual lease agreement in phases.
In a memo Pivarnik sent to port commissioners on Friday, he said the issue is whether or not the port should enter into the agreement “to explore avenues for the restoration and preservation” of the 17-acre Point Hudson facility.
Congress designated the trust the lead agency last year.
“Created to celebrate the maritime history and culture of Puget Sound and Coastal Washington, the designation is the first of its kind in the United States to focus entirely on maritime matters,” Pivarnik wrote in the memo.
“It is expected to help leverage funding to promote maritime museums, education and historic preservation.”
Pivarnik said both Congressman Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, and incoming port Executive Director Eron Berg, who will start on April 1, are on board with the potential partnership. Kilmer represents the 6th Congressional District which includes the North Olympic Peninsula.
“[Kilmer] thinks it’s a great opportunity to really show a synergy between the new maritime district, the national area, and preserving certainly one of the classic, historical structure facilities on Puget Sound,” Pivarnik said Friday.
As a not-for-profit entity, the trust could lease part or all of the property from the port, or it could act as a fundraising body to help facilitate needed projects, Pivarnik said.
Port staff has been working on an agreement for the past three months. Pivarnik said the partnership is still in its infancy.
“We agree we’re going to sit down for the next two years and figure out how we’re going to work together on this,” he said.
Pivarnik added Timmons has been working with the trust and has been key to the process.
“He knows all the intimacies and past relationships and past issues,” Pivarnik said.
Chris Moore, the executive director of the trust, will join Timmons for a presentation before the three port commissioners.
Public comment is encouraged, Pivarnik said.
“We wanted to really involve the community and let people know this is coming,” he said.
“We want to talk about what the trust has done in the past, what its mission is, and how they see a potential partnership with the port to help save Point Hudson.”
Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].