Port of South Whidbey OK’s $1.38 million budget

Port of South Whidbey commissioners this week approved a 2017 budget that largely mirrors that of 2016.

The $1.38 million plan was OK’d by Commissioner Ed Halloran and Commissioner Curt Gordon in a 2-0 vote following a public hearing on Tuesday. Commissioner Jack Ng was not present.

The board also approved a 1 percent property tax hike that amounts to $5,277 in additional revenue.

“We’ve got a budget that’s about balanced and we need every penny we can get,” Gordon said.

The 2017 budget is about $180,000 greater than last year’s $1.2 million budget; the difference is largely due to the voter approved ballot measure to transfer ownership of the fairgrounds from the county to the port and collect an $200,000 in property tax revenues per year for operations and maintenance of the facility.

The board also formally amended its comprehensive scheme to identify and outline its objectives for the fairgrounds.

Angi Mozer, the port’s executive director, said the rest of the budget is on par with 2016’s.

“Our capital projects are always in flux, changing year to year, but other than that everything is pretty much the same,” Mozer said.

This year’s capital projects tops out at $480,000, a large portion of which — $300,000 — is going toward construction work at the Possession Point boat launch. Nearly $239,000 of that is from state grant funding. The rest is for various projects, such as repairs to the Clinton Dock and $40,000 for the fairgrounds.

Another $162,000 will go toward fairgrounds expenses, the vast majority for salaries: maintenance salary is listed at $35,000 and property management at $45,000. The rest is a mix of administrative, repair and utility expenses.

Port employees who have been with the district longer than one year also all got a performance-based 5 percent raise. Mozer said all who qualified met the performance requirements.

According to budget documents, the wage increases total at least $14,122.

Disbursements round out at about $1.38 million and port officials expect an ending cash balance of $474,000.

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