Port of Coupeville eyes cuts

A bevy of unexpected expenses is prompting officials for the Port of Coupeville to consider early-year cutbacks in an effort to save money.

The port commissioners consider possible budget cuts at their regular meeting at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8 in the Coupeville Library meeting room.

Jim Patton, port executive director, said costs for the solar array project at the Greenbank Farm came in higher than expected. Those costs, coupled with the money paid during the primary election last August and emergency repairs made to the port’s mooring buoys, ate up too large a chunk of the budget reserve.

Patton said he likes to have $100,000 in reserve at the beginning of the year. That money is used to pay expenses through April when the first allotment of levy dollars is dispersed to taxing districts. However, last year’s unexpected expenses cut the port’s reserves nearly in half and more cuts have to be made to get the port through the first quarter of the year.

The Port of Coupeville brings in $396,000 of revenue. Of that amount, $104,000 goes to pay off bonds for the port’s portion of the Greenbank Farm. Patton said that the port doesn’t receive much money from fuel sales from the Coupeville Wharf during the early part of the year.

Costs for the port’s portion of the solar energy project at the Greenbank Farm came in higher than expected because of problems digging the 600-foot trench. The kiosk advertising the project also was more expensive because of the electronics required to monitor the solar arrays.

Because three people filed to run for a vacancy on the three-member board, the Port of Coupeville had to pay more than $5,000 for its portion of the August primary election. The port also had to spend $13,000 to make emergency repairs to its emergency floats.

Patton said he will to present the commissioners with a list of possible reductions Wednesday.


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