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Time for a new port event center

I would like to voice my strong support for the Port of Anacortes’ plans for the new event center, Port offices and parking areas. That a true RV park comes with the plan is fantastic.

These facilities are so long overdue. As one of the many people who have both produced events over the years and attended them in the Port’s Terminal Building, the new facility will provide features that our community deserves.

Anacortes is fortunate that the Port made the terminal building available to an endless list of users who needed large space to put on events – fundraisers, weddings, Veterans Day celebrations, beer festivals and art displays and more. All in a building that was never designed to be an event center. For those of us who have used the building, we are thankful that the Port staff helped in overcoming the building’s many shortcomings along with large amounts of crossed fingers that it all just held together.

Many thanks to the Port commissioners and staff for listening to our input and making changes that could be made. This still doesn’t make the building an event-ready center.

Among its problems are electrical capacity, inadequate restrooms, parking, no arrival entry and no caterer’s kitchen. And then there are those planks. Who knows how many watches, keys and jewelry are lost forever to the deep blue lapping below? Guests have to be warned to wear flat shoes or risk tripping. The current building presents significant impediments to those who cannot walk or see well. This is a segment that represents many in our retired community. People with walkers, canes, or vision issues often avoid events.

The plans for the North/West Basin Redevelopment are a reflection of a lot of community input. I believe the plans capture the character of our town. The building will offer the flexibility to allow events of many sizes. The new facility will welcome guests with physical needs to arrive under an overhang, walk on a level surface and enjoy other ADA features.

The opportunity to connect the downtown to the Cap Sante waterfront and integrate the Depot along with the other unique features in that area seem to me an obvious and great benefit. We’ve enjoyed the Port’s Terminal building long enough, and I wholeheartedly encourage support for the Port’s plan for these new, and overdue, facilities.

Vicki Stowe

Anacortes

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