Port floats idea of pursuing levy lid lift

Officials of the Port of Coupeville began preliminary discussions Wednesday about possibly running a levy lid lift in November.

“Now’s the time to start talking about if we’re going to do it,” said Chris Michalopoulos, executive director for the port.

The preliminary talks didn’t cover any estimated increase or specifics. The port currently get 17 cents per $1,000 of assessed land value.

The district last ran a levy lift in 2009, but it failed.

“It has to be driven by a community-based standpoint,” said Commissioner William Bell.

Michalopoulos said he’s been working with and developing relationships with other community organizations and believes those organizations would be supportive and help lead a campaign.

If the port decides to pursue the levy lift, Michalopoulos said he’d like to hire a consultant and maybe put together an ad hoc committee.

“You gotta be careful about what you spend on this, especially with a consultant,” Bell said.

He advised contacting the county auditor’s office to find out what the financial challenges and legal requirements are.

With running it November 2018, it’s an election year so the ballot would be crowded, which would make the cost to the port go down, Bell pointed out.

The board discussed timelines for getting a plan put together, estimating everything that would have to be mapped out and submitted by June or July.

The port has struggled with finances over the years, balancing income versus the district’s two historic properties — the Coupeville Wharf and Greenbank Farm.

Both properties have serious repair needs.

The wharf had an engineering assessment done a couple years ago, and those reports showed the wharf needed roughly $500,000 in piling work alone.

“What we’re selling to the community is ‘wharf, no wharf,’” said Commissioner John Mishasek.

Bell said it wasn’t as simple as that and the port would need to direct the community conversation. In December, the port made its final bond payment on the Greenbank Farm, which will free up some additional money from its budget.

We’re going to need to address questions like “what are you going to do with that extra $100K in your pocket,” he said.

More in News

Screaming monkey | Island Scanner

The following items were selected from reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

It’s all in the family

‘They end up getting all of us, even though they saw only one of us’

Hannold, St. Clair face off for District 3 seat

Island County commissioner candidate Janet St. Clair said that if elected, she’ll… Continue reading

Town to decide 2 percent grants

The Town of Coupeville is in the process of deciding which nonprofits… Continue reading

County commissioners to focus on economic development

Having recently adopted a major update to the housing element, Island County… Continue reading

Shifty Sailors celebrating 25th anniversary

The maritime-themed musical group Shifty Sailors will celebrate their 25th anniversary with… Continue reading

State seeks input for civilian-military compatibility plan

Washington State Department of Commerce says it is drafting a Washington State… Continue reading

DNA leads to charges against burglary suspect

DNA evidence led to a criminal charge being filed against a man… Continue reading

Photo by Maria Matson/Whidbey News Group.
                                <em>Cornet Bay Company owners Arnie and Joanne Deckwa stand with their new seafood line of sauces. In the background, painted on their RV is the company’s logo depicting Cornet Bay, the view across from their office.</em>
Walmart picks up Cornet Bay Co.’s sauces

Though it’s been producing and selling gourmet sauces, dressing, seasonings and dips… Continue reading

Most Read