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Firm chosen to review SEED ‘green’prints
Four months after voting to “pause” progress on a clean-technology business park while more due diligence can be completed, the Port of Bremerton has chosen a firm to review the business plan for the proposed project.
Port Chief Executive Officer Ken Attebery said this week that Berk and Associates, policy and management consultants based in Seattle, has been retained by the port to examine both the business plan and financial scheme of the project, called the Kitsap Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project.
Attebery said one of the reasons that particular firm was chosen to look into SEED is because of its experience and knowledge of the clean technology sector.
“They are currently pretty significantly involved in analyzing the clean technology sector for the Puget Sound Regional Council,” said Attebery. “They have a good grasp of the sector, which gives them a couple of legs up (in that realm).”
Attebery said he was still “hammering out the full scope” of what the firm would be doing for the port, and that he could not estimate how much they would be paid until their tasks had been outlined.
When the firm selection was announced, Port Commissioner Bill Mahan reiterated his frustration regarding the length of time it has taken to chose a firm since the SEED pause began.
According the the minutes of the June 10 meeting, Mahan requested that a “specific date be given for when the product is to be delivered, and to not allow for an extension beyond 45 to 60 days.”
Attebery said Monday that the port is “pushing (the firm) to be completed with the work in August.”
In addition to evaluating the SEED project specifically, Attebery said the firm will be asked to analyze the health of clean technology sector in the region and whether it can support the business park.
“We want to know, ‘Is the clean-technology business sector in the Central Puget Sound region dynamic and robust enough that Kitsap can expect to garner a piece of that business activity?’” Attebery said, explaining that the crucial questions to be answered are not only whether SEED is a viable project, but if the environment surrounding it is viable enough to support it.
SEED is a green energy business park and incubator the port hopes to build on a large section of its South Kitsap Industrial Area, although work was effectively halted Feb. 26 when its board of commissioners voted to “pause” until four milestones were achieved — including reviewing the project’s business plan and financial scheme, establishing a partnership with a research institution and conducting meetings with private developers.
As for the other requirements, Attebery said port staff has held a “series of meetings with regional developers,” and has entered into cooperative agreements with both the Washington State University Extension and the University of Washington-Tacoma.
Many documents related to the SEED project are available for public review on the port’s Web site (www.portofbremerton.org), including the project’s business case, master plan, and its Sustainable Practices Institute (SPI) Discovery Report and SPI Strategic Plan.