Port of Coupeville formalizes handout policy

More paperwork is coming for groups and organizers looking to the Port of Coupeville for financial support.

The port will develop an application process for nonprofit groups and organizers seeking dollars for events that jibe with the port’s mission of economic development or facilitate events that celebrate local history and culture.

In addition, the port will outline how much money will be available each year that can be doled out to nonprofit groups.

Port commissioner Laura Blankenship is spearheading the effort to make the change.

“My biggest issue with this is transparency,” Blankenship said during a recent Port of Coupeville meeting.

She added that a clear public policy is needed on how an organization can receive dollars from the port.

In the past, representatives from an organization would attend a port meeting,  make a presentation, and then the commissioners would decide whether to make a donation. The Port of Coupeville recently donated $1,000 to the Penn Cove Water Festival and $500 to the Whidbey Island Farm Tour.

Marshall Bronson, president of the three-member commission, said the port always received recognition and advertisement whenever they made a donation.

Commissioner Benye Weber questioned the need for such an application process, which she said would lead people to think the port would have a lot of money to donate.

Jim Patton, executive director for the port, encouraged the commissioners to approve the resolution, which they did unanimously.

“This ties up a loose end in terms of our policy,” Blankenship said during the meeting.


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