Port deals with extra costs

Port of Coupeville officials are dealing with higher expenses that will delay the scheduled painting of a Greenbank Farm barn.

Port commissioners are conducting a special meeting today to develop new budget guidelines and lay groundwork for a comprehensive plan.

Officials have had to deal with some $58,000 in unexpected expenses this year. Some of those expenses included a new water system at the Greenbank Farm, repair of marina floats, new equipment and security system for the port office.

Expenses concerning the transition stemming from previous director John Coyne’s retirement were $23,000 more than expected.

With the unexpected projects added in, it boosted the Port’s budgeted expenditures to $357,400.

Those expenses, combined with lower revenues, would have dropped the Port’s reserves to only $16,000. That low amount would have made it tough to pay any emergency expense.

“If anything happened, how could we pay for it?” said Jim Patton, executive director of the Port of Coupeville.

To increase the budget reserve, the commissioners delayed an $80,000 project to repaint and repair Barn 1 at the Greenbank Farm. They also found an additional $26,130 that was originally earmarked for a water tank project at the farm, Patton said. With the adjustments made, the Port should have an estimated $122,730 in reserve.

However, Patton said that the reserve still isn’t enough for the Port to undertake any significant future projects.

Patton said the meeting is needed to establish guidelines and save money for future projects. Even if the Port seeks state grant money for future projects, the matching money that is normally a requirement for such funds would deplete the Port’s reserves.

The comprehensive plan would also make the Port eligible for such money sources as rural development funds.

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