Sea cucumbers weighed and sold

Commercial fisherman and diver Chris Sparks helps unload several hundred pounds of sea cucumbers at B dock on Sept. 6, 2021, to be weighed by a buyer at Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes. 

The Port of Anacortes expects to bring in roughly $17 million in revenue next year and spend $14 million on operations.

It also plans to spend almost $43 million on capital projects over the next five years.

The port’s preliminary 2022 budget will be available to the public starting Friday both online and at the port office, to be reviewed before a public hearing and budget adoption at the next port meeting Thursday, Nov. 4.

For operating revenues, port staff expects to bring in almost $17 million from its four main operating areas: the airport, the marina, the marina terminal and its properties. That compares to a projected $17.3 million in 2021 (above the $15.2 million budgeted for this year).

Of those, the biggest is the marina, expected to bring in roughly $9.7 million in 2022, as compared to the $9.8 million projected in 2021.

Over the course of 2021, the port staff saw significant increases in fuel sales and use of the marina, according to Port Director of Finance and Administration Jill Brownfield.

“Everything is up over prior years as people look for outdoor recreation,” she said.

Expenses are estimated at roughly $14 million for next year compared to a projected $13.7 million this year. The majority of spending is also at the marina, at which the port expects to spend $7.8 million in 2022, up from a projected $7.3 million this year.

Increased expenses include some new positions, both at the marina and in the Information Technology department, as well as a 5.5% Cost of Living Adjustment, Brownfield said.

The Port of Anacortes tries to be conservative with budgeting, but that doesn’t mean it limits its capital projects, Executive Director Dan Worra said.

The board also looked at what is coming up over the next five years in terms of capital improvement projects. The port expects to spend roughly $42.6 million over the next five years on its projects. Of that, $8.2 million is from grants, $13.7 million is from operating dollars, $7.7 million is from tax dollars and $13 million will come from financing, Brownfield said.

At the airport, the Capital Improvement Plan includes design work and permitting for stormwater improvements at an expected cost of $55,000.

At the marina, projects total an estimated $7.8 million for next year.

The most improvement project is the RV park redevelopment expected to cost $3.5 million and the RV park restroom expected to cost $990,000. North Basin O, P and Q Dock float rehabilitation is expected to cost $955,000.

One project is already starting.

The B Dock electrical upgrades are expected to cost roughly $970,000, more than the $730,000 originally budgeted. The work will be partially covered by a $500,000 Skagit County Economic Development Public Facility Grant. The port will pay the remaining $470,000.

The port is receiving bids now, with material procurement to happen through the winter. Construction should start with March, with completion scheduled for June.

Work at the marine terminal expected next year totals roughly $985,000.

One project included in that total is starting with bidding and contracting now. The port’s final Curtis Wharf corrosion repairs and cathodic protection system is expected to cost about $350,000.

That would happen in early 2022.

The port’s property tax levy rate is expected to shift slightly next year as the port increases it by 1% as allowed by state law.

This year, the port is bringing in $1.67 million. Next year, it’s budgeted to bring in $1.71 million, which includes money from new construction.

The assessed value of the district has gone up. This year, district residents pay a rate of $20.82 per $100,000 of assessed value. Next year, they will pay a rate of roughly $20.45 per $100,000 of assessed value, Brownfield said.

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