PORT TOWNSEND — Port of Port Townsend commissioners have approved resubmitting an application for state funding and opening an additional line of credit to potentially fund the Port Hudson breakwater project.
The unanimous decision came during the commissioners’ meeting Wednesday with little discussion.
The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) informed the port on Dec. 8 that its application for funding that the port resubmitted in October “has been reviewed for merit and selected for further consideration.” But the port is being considered for a 50 percent matching grant of $7,031,300 instead of the $9.3 million request, according to a letter from Kerstin Millius, the acting regional director.
“… this notification of further consideration is intended to inform you of EDA’s competitive preliminary selection of your project but does not guarantee final approval or legally bind EDA to make an award,” Millius said.
The cost to repair the damaged breakwaters is estimated to be $14,062,600.
Port Executive Director Eron Berg will resubmit the application to the EDA and establish a line of credit not to exceed $7 million from Cashmere Valley Bank.
The remaining $31,300 the port requires for the project will come from the port’s capital reserves, Berg said in his response to Millius’ letter, which was sent Thursday.
The line of credit will be repaid via tax proceeds from a multi‐year Industrial Development District tax levy along with proceeds from the Port’s regular property tax levy, Berg said.
According to the resolution, the proposed Point Hudson breakwater replacement project aligns with the investment priorities identified by the EDA.
The resolution describes the breakwater as critical infrastructure that would facilitate economic recovery and strengthen the ability of the community to withstand future natural disasters.
The Point Hudson jetty was damaged during windstorms in December 2018. The port needs to demolish and replace both arms of the breakwater, “which, if not replaced with more robust and resilient infrastructure, could in future jeopardize public and private property and threaten the economic life of the community,” the resolution said.
The port documents can viewed at https://tinyurl.com/PDN-PointHudsonGrant.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].