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Friday Harbor Port Commission: Damage at Jensen's boatyard rebuilt with more capacity, zero debt service

LWVSJ Observer Corps:* summary of Port of Friday Harbor Commission, October 11, 2023 meeting. The Shipyard Cove barge landing and Jensen’s Phase 2 piling work are out for bid. The penultimate insurance payment for the Jensen’s boatyard collapse arrived. When complete the Port will have rebuilt the marina with more capacity with zero debt service.

Photo of Jensen's boatyard collapse

Becky Day, Executive Director of the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce requested funds for the 4th July Fireworks in Friday Harbor. The Commission will consider it in the budget.

The Executive Director reported on lock changes at the airport, pier reconstruction materials, work on the airport runways and taxiways, and asphalt work that will be done next spring.

The Commission requested that staff who attend conferences write reports to the Commission. The Executive Director gave an update on the Port plan to have Narcan at hand at Port facilities.

To recoup the cost of seaplane dock reconstruction, it was proposed to continue charging seaplanes for the moorage space along the dock and to add a per head charge for the passengers. This would recoup the Port's capital investment in 18 years. The Commission asked to address docking fees for seaplanes at the next review of Tariffs and Fees.

An alternate source of funding of $600K from the FAA could be used but with strings attached; the Executive Director did not recommend accessing the FAA funds for this purpose. A new remodel of the Airport waiting facilities could be an alternative use for these funds.

The Commission discussed the County Destination Management Plan. The County held three sets of meetings, attended by a total of 375 people, to share the draft.

The Commission plans to submit comments, as the plan affects the marine community. The Commission spent time reviewing their priority items, with input from the Executive Director, and decided on items the Port would support and oppose. The Executive Director will prepare a package of comments to submit by October 31.

The Executive Director of the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA) will visit Friday Harbor on October 19th. The Commissioners are invited to the special meeting. The annual WPPA conference is in Vancouver, WA in December. The newly-elected Port Commissioner can attend the new commissioner seminar at this conference.

The Executive Director said the recent audit went well with no issues.

Tamy Hayes reported summer business results. They will install new software before the next season and she is researching grants for EV charging stations. The Commission asked for a report in the newsletter, outlining trends and expectations for next year. The operating and capital budgets will be combined for evaluation at the next meeting.


The Commission agreed in principle for the Port to do manufacturing work for the Port of Kingston, with the profit to go towards the new breakwater. The Commission will review the intra local agreement and revisit it at the next meeting.

The Greenhouse Gas Study was forwarded to the County Council and the Port is in the early stages of working on a plan for climate sustainability, setting certain criteria and benchmarks.

*The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members.

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