Port of Coupeville starts work with extra dough

Leaders for the Port of Coupeville are figuring out how to best use an award that is nearly equal to the entity’s yearly tax collection.

The public entity received $335,000 in Conservation Futures Funds from Island County for an easement on the agricultural, recreational and environmentally sensitive lands at the farm. The Port of Coupeville receives around $360,000 in tax dollars each year.

With the futures fund award soon to be in hand, port leaders are looking to move forward with maintenance projects at the Greenbank Farm and the Coupeville Wharf. Those projects have been deferred in recent years because of funding problems.

During Wednesday morning’s monthly commissioner meeting for the Port of Coupeville, executive director Jim Patton said he is accepting solicitations for new fuel floats at the Coupeville Wharf.

Replacing those floats are a high priority for the port. The current ones have had a history of breaking loose from the wharf and drifting away. Port employees have had to beach the floats until repairs could be made. Patton said the floats pose a problem for Penn Cove Shellfish boats, which refuel at the Coupeville Wharf.

He is hoping the new fuel floats will be smaller, made of metal instead of concrete and better equipped to handle the conditions of Penn Cove during the winter. He hopes to have bids received by the end of January.

The Port of Coupeville has around a dozen potential projects and a special meeting will be scheduled in February to not only prioritize maintenance needs but revise the port’s budget because it’s going to drastically change.

When Patton developed the 2013 budget, he based it on the assumption that the port wouldn’t have the Conservation Futures Fund award.

A date for the special meeting has yet to be scheduled.


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