ANACORTES — The Port of Anacortes Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the port’s 2013 budget Thursday night, which is slightly smaller than this year’s budget.
Operating revenues are down 2 percent from 2012 to $13.5 million, while operating expenses also decreased 4 percent to $12.3 million.
The port’s new sulphur export operation, which will send sulphur on five or six ships to China and Indonesia next year, is responsible for a 34 percent increase in operating income, Port Director Bob Hyde said.
The port’s shipping export terminal expects a $1.3 million net income next year.
One of the major projects proposed for next year is a $1.9 million plan to dredge Pier 2 to accommodate larger sulfur export vessels. The dredging will bring the water depth at Pier 2 from 36 feet to 44 feet, and allow the berthing of panamax-size ships.
Another $1.5 million has been set aside for mitigation for a project to raze Wyman’s Marina and convert it into a cove. Hyde said the marina has been abandoned for decades, and that project needed to be done to replace almost three-quarters of an acre of water that was filled in two years ago when the Dakota Creek Shipyard was built.
Approximately $30,000 fewer taxes will be collected from the port district next year, Hyde said. A financial overview within the final budget states that available money from the port’s general, construction and tax fund balances will be used for capital, environmental and mitigation projects.
No major festivals at the port have been cut out of the budget, and targeted marketing to increase transient and permanent boat traffic along with rendezvous and cruising groups have been factored in.
Commissioner Bob Eberle said he approved of the slightly leaner budget this year as the port works through a tough economy for boat owners.
“I think if and when the economy picks up, the port will be in a good position to move forward, without any outrageous debt,” Eberle said.
Hyde and Eberle said there was no public comment at the meeting.