Port of Bremerton approves budget for 2005

The Port of Bremerton’s Board of Commissioners unanimously approved its 2005 budget Tuesday, the large majority of which will be spent on two major improvement projects.

“The bulk of our budget next year will be the expansion of the Bremerton Marina, and the (Bremerton National Airport) runway shift,” said Port Finance Director Lynn Hills.

Seventy-five percent of the port’s $23.3 million budget will be funneled into the two projects, at least $10 million of which will come directly from government grants.

In August, the port accepted $4.5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to pay the lion’s share — all but $323,000 — of its long-planned runway shift, which the airport needs to complete in order to comply with safety standards.

At its north end, the 6,200-foot long runway comes within a few hundred feet of State Route 3. The FAA requires, at a minimum, a 500-foot by 1,000-foot area of clearance at both ends of the runway.

By next spring, Director of Airport and Industrial Operations Fred Salisbury said crews hope to begin digging up 1,190 feet of pavement on the north end of the runway, then add nearly the same amount to the south end.

“We will lose 200 feet in the process, but we will have a full 6,000 feet for landing and takeoff,” Salisbury said.

On Tuesday, Salisbury said most of the prep work had been completed, including clearing a large group of trees near the site, and now construction can only wait until April, or when the rainy season subsides.

The second large chunk of the budget — $12.8 million — will be spent on a continuation of the Bremerton Marina expansion. The project, which will cost a total of $21 million, includes adding a 1,400-foot harbor protection system and expanding capacity to 365 total slips, 257 permanent slips, and 2,132 feet of public access.

According to the port, the project’s environmental mitigation plan involves removal of creosote pilings both on- and off-site, and participation in the restoration of over an acre of wildlife habitat near the mouth of Gorst Creek at the head of Sinclair Inlet.

Other construction projects planned in next year’s port budget include:

-- $2,500 for security cameras at Port Orchard Marina;

-- $25,000 of site, utility and transportation improvements to the airport; and,

-- $50,000 for Seabeck Public Beach Access Restoration

-- $25,000 for a Misery Point boat launch

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