Port of Port Townsend commissioners will continue 2018 budget discussions into November. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Port of Port Townsend commissioners will continue 2018 budget discussions into November. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Port of Port Townsend to continue budget discussions

PORT TOWNSEND — Budget discussions will continue after Port of Port Townsend commissioners decided to take no action on the third draft of the port’s 2018 operating budget.

Commissioners decided during a meeting in Quilcene on Tuesday that they will continue budget discussions during their regular meeting at 1 p.m. Nov. 8. Port staff said that, most likely, that meeting will be in the port commission building at 333 Benedict St., in Port Townsend.

In the current draft operating revenue budget, no rate increases for leases, utility rates or other services have been determined. Commissioner Pete Hanke continued to be opposed to any rate increases, an opinion he also expressed at the Oct. 11 budget meeting.

Port officials are anticipating a rise in revenue due to a scheduled moorage increase based on the consumer price index (CPI), which is 3 percent, plus 1 percent. However, a decrease is expected in Point Hudson because of construction on the south jetty for next summer.

The port’s current revenue estimate is $5,875,075 for 2018. That is up from the now adjusted 2017 budget, which had $5,534,490 in revenues.

The vast majority of the 2018 revenue is from rental, moorage and lease agreements at the marinas, RV parks and boat yards, and from yard operations.

In the operating budget for 2018, port commissioners decided in the Oct. 11 meeting to budget $25,000 for marketing, bringing the total marketing budget to $81,450 for 2018.

The port also estimates lower expenditures for utilities and outside services for 2018. Outside service costs were lowered by $24,900 due to a two-year reduction in consulting services, according to port staff.

Utilities for 2018 are estimated to be $525,000 for 2018, down from $554,180 in 2017.

Personnel costs, which have been brought up at almost every port meeting since September, also will see a slight decrease of $3,640 from the original estimate due to some changes based on staff evaluations.

Despite that, the personnel budget for 2018 is still up from the 2017 budget of $3,013,738. In 2018, the port has budgeted $3,224,359 for personnel costs.

All together, the port is expecting operating expenses for 2018 to be $5,277,019, which is up from the $5,099,433 budgeted in 2017.

Personnel is the largest operating expense for the port.

The port also is still looking at $4,015,827 worth of capital projects for 2018.

The port did remove the Boat Haven bathroom/laundry room project from the 2018 budget. However, that still leaves the replacement of the south jetty in Point Hudson, which will run an estimated $3,512,500.

The only other project scheduled for 2018 is engineering and permitting for a new runway at Jefferson County International Airport. That project has a budget of $262,000. That’s without construction costs because construction won’t begin until 2019.

The port also budgeted $150,000 for new equipment.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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