Marina tenant frustrated over parking during festivals

Marine facilities director Steve Slaton said the Port of Bremerton will try and improve its communication with tenants regarding parking during city events after a Port Orchard marina tenant expressed frustration over the parking situation during this month’s CRUZ classic car show.

“There seems to be some miscommunication between the police force and the port regarding parking during festivals,” said Richard Varlay, a marina tenant, during the citizen comment section of the port’s Board of Commissioners’ Aug. 25 meeting.

Varlay said during the recent CRUZ, he understood that there was to be parking spaces “roped off” for tenants to use, but that police officers had not allowed him to park in those areas. “They said they hadn’t heard about (the roped off areas), and there seems to be some confusion between the two entities.”

In response, Slaton said that the marina “supports a number of festivals, starting with Fathoms o’Fun,” and that the staff typically relocates parking assigned to tenants in front of the marina office.

“We send a flyer to marina tenants notifying them,” he said. “And we do have an agreement with the city, but I am not sure what happened. There may have been a miscommunication.”

Commissioner Larry Stokes then spoke, saying that he believed marina tenants should be more flexible and put their “community first.

“I would think that the boaters could tolerate a situation like this once a year,” Stokes said, explaining that he received “three or four complaints” similar to Varlay’s. “We’re talking about one day a year, the biggest (single-day) event in Kitsap County, and all the money goes to charity.”

Stokes went on to say that next year, he wanted to “make a motion to completely close that area off” to parking.

Varlay said that if he wanted to make changes, he would have to “change the contract with marina tenants.” Slaton said that currently, parking is provided to marina tenants on a “first-come, first-served,” basis.

Port Chief Executive Officer Cary Bozeman then suggested that “we follow up with (Varlay) after the meeting, and pledge to do a better job in the future.”

• Also at the meeting, Bozeman said that the federal funding for the Cross-SKIA connector had been approved Tuesday, and that staff would be “putting the project out to bid” Wednesday.

• On Sept. 2, port staff will be meeting with Tim Ford, the open government ombudsman for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office from 9 a.m. until noon at the Bremerton National Airport terminal offices, and “the public is invited to attend,” Bozeman said.

• The port announced Wednesday that the non-profit, volunteer corporation formed to advise the Kitsap Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Project, or SEED, is dissolving.

Board member and spokesman Jon Kroman was quoted as saying: “Our group fully concurred with the port’s recent decision not to proceed with the SEED incubator building.”

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