Port of Coupeville to hold special meeting Monday to discuss Greenbank Farm issues

The future of the Greenbank Farm remains uncertain as tenant leases are unresolved and officials can’t agree on a direction. As a result, the commissioners for the Port of Coupeville will hold a special meeting next week to further discuss the issues. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21 at the Coupeville Masonic Lodge.

The future of the Greenbank Farm remains uncertain as tenant leases are unresolved and officials can’t agree on a direction.

As a result, the commissioners for the Port of Coupeville will hold a special meeting next week to further discuss the issues. It is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21 at the Coupeville Masonic Lodge.

Executive Director David Day told commissioners last week he had met with all but one tenant at the Greenbank Farm. He said he discussed parameters, such as leasehold taxes and the cost-of-living increases, for new leases that were set by commissioners in August.

Day said all the tenants seemed to want to stay.

Day presented a draft lease to commissioners. It was based on a standard lease the port holds with tenants at the Coupeville Wharf and included the basic parameters set last month.

Commissioner Marshall Bronson proposed directing Day to move forward with lease negotiations, but Commissioner Mike Diamanti said he didn’t agree.

Commissioner John Carr was not present at the meeting, therefore no tie-breaking vote could be made.

Diamanti said some basic questions remained unanswered in the draft lease, including what rates the port would charge. After the meeting, he said he was uncomfortable sending Day into negotiations without those numbers.

He also said that determining rates should be done in the public arena. Day and Bronson claimed that leases are a negotiation and typically conducted in private.

The board also discussed advertising a manager position for the farm. Bronson threw out a curve ball, suggesting the port look at hiring a private business to run events at the farm.

“I’m really at a loss for how to proceed,” Diamanti responded. “We can’t keep kicking the can down the road.”

Diamanti asked how that was any different from having a management group; he was critical of the other board members’ surprise decision earlier this year to no longer work with the organization, which had managed the farm for years.

He said he thought the reason for the change was for the port to be responsible for managing the farm. Day responded that a “structure” is needed.

“We need to take a serious look at how money is handled,” Day said.

The board opted to sit down and hash out the finer details during the special meeting next week.

“I don’t want to delay this,” Diamanti said, but added that it was important to have the conversation in public.

 

More in News

State lawmakers re-consider eliminating statute of limitations on sex crimes

By Taylor McAvoy WNPA Olympia News Bureau A bill passed in the… Continue reading

Federal marijuana stance doesn’t change anything for Whidbey entrepreneurs, law enforcement

The U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that federal cannabis laws will… Continue reading

Rising acidity levels could put marine life at risk, expert says

Reversing the consequences of ocean acidification would be like steering the Titanic… Continue reading

More savings, profits than expected at closed school, center

The closure of Langley Middle School is estimated to save more money… Continue reading

Port of Coupeville commissioners not liable in lawsuit

Two Port of Coupeville commissioners won’t be individually liable in a lawsuit… Continue reading

Tokitae returns to Clinton-to-Mukilteo ferry route

The MV Tokitae is back in action. The 144-vehicle vessel returned to… Continue reading

Machete-wielding Oak Harbor man accused of rape

A man is accused of chasing a woman with a machete and… Continue reading

Lockdown on base lifted, no evidence of gunfire found

Navy security wasn’t able to identify a noise that caused the lock… Continue reading

Island County Court District Judge looking for court commissioner

A long time court commissioner in Island County District Court resigned last… Continue reading

Most Read