Port of Bremerton passes 2006 budget

In a move deemed necessary to increase revenue, the Port of Bremerton Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved an increase in the amount of tax dollars the port collects.

According to the resolution passed unanimously Nov. 8, the port will receive an additional 1 percent — or $28,334 — of property taxes next year.

“(The board) has determined that (it) requires an increase ... in order to discharge the expected expenses and obligations of (the port) and in its best interest,” the resolution states.

Along with the levy increase, the board also unanimously passed the port’s budget for next year, which is approximately $12.3 million dollars.

According to the budget, presented to the commissioners by Chief Financial Officer Becky Swanson as a “balanced budget,” the port’s income of $12.3 million — from tax levies, facility revenues and bonds/grants — will exactly match the port’s expenses.

Approximately half of the port’s total income — $6.6 mil — will come from bonds and grants, with the next largest amount — $2.4 mil — to be collected from the general tax levy, and another $570,000 from the General Operating Bond Tax Levy.

The port’s revenues total $2.4 million, with approximately $2.3 mil collected from the facilities and $164,000 in interest.

On the expenses side, the majority will be spent on the port’s harbor facilities, including $6.5 mil in new construction projects, nearly all of which — $5.7 mil — is allocated to the expansion of the Bremerton Marina.

The remaining amount will be spent on projects such as the restoration of Gorst and a Seabeck shoreline project, along with several improvements to the Port Orchard marina that total more than $100,000.

Those include parking improvements, upgrades to the activity float, expansion of the fuel office and installation of postal boxes for live-aboard tenants.

Before the board voted on the budget, they held a public hearing to allow citizens to voice their concerns.

Only one citizen spoke, asking the board why the prices listed in the 2006 Marina Tariff Schedule were higher for new tenants than those already renting.

Board president Bill Mahan said higher fees would be charged to new tenants in an effort to “bring the marina rates up to the current market rate.

“We decided any new slips — starting Jan. 1 — would be rented at the market rate, and we would find a way to phase in the market rate for the current (tenants) over the years,” Mahan said.

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