Port of Bremerton votes for saving energy, against code of ethics

The Port of Bremerton Board of Commissioners Tuesday night approved a plan to join forces with three Kitsap County cities and start a Resource Conservation Management (RCM) Program.

The Interlocal Agreement is between the port and the cities of Bremerton, Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo, and has all four parties pursuing a two-year RCM grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce. A grant from Puget Sound Energy, also for three years, was applied for and tentatively approved.

Tim Thomson, the port’s Director of Real Estate and Industrial Park Development, told the commissioners at their Feb. 23 meeting that the program “will study how each partner could use utility resources including water, sewer, electricity, oil and natural gas more efficiently, and the Washington State University Extension Energy Program will provide program and technical support.”

If the grant is received, Thomson said, an RCM manger will be hired on either a contract or full-time basis “to provide services to the parties on a shared basis and be administered by the City of Bremerton, which has majority interest.”

The port’s share of the program’s cost is 10 percent.

Thomson said that based on formulas provided by WSU, the port would save a total of $49, 584 after the money the port is expected to contribute is subtracted. The first year, it is anticipated the port would contribute $2,900 and save a total of $4,708 (minus the $2,900 contribution).

The second year, the port would contribute $5,600 and save a total of $17,752, and the third year it would contribute $8,340 and save a total of $27,124.

The port’s utility costs are currently $380,497 a year, and by the third year of the program, they are expected to be $354,242.

“I’ve studied this, and I think we’ll get a good return on our investment,” said Commissioner Roger Zabinski. “You often hear people saying they want government to act more efficiently and work cooperatively, and I think this is an example of that.”

Commissioner Larry Stokes asked who brought this plan to the port, and Thomson said it was Scott Ware, a communications consultant for the port.

When Stokes asked, “Who was the expert who came up with these figures?” Thomson said they were compiled by using formulas provided by WSU.

“So whoever came up with the numbers isn’t going to be the one applying for the job?” Stokes replied.

When a member of the audience asked “In the end, how much is this little exercise going to save us?” Stokes said, “I’ll find out for you and call you.”

The motion was approved unanimously.

• Also at the meeting, Olalla resident Rob Daugherty asked port Chief Executive Officer Cary Bozeman what was happening with the $2.58 million grant from the Economic Development Administration the port was awarded for its defunct Sustainable Energy and Economic Development project.

“I’m wondering when we’re going to return that,” Daugherty said. “As a taxpayer, I don’t have the money to match that.”

“That is a good question, and I think you’ll have an answer in the next 10 days,” Bozeman said.

• Chief Financial Officer Becky Swanson updated the board on the port’s negotiations with the Bremerton Motorsports Park (BMP), which hopes to build a larger racetrack but would like an extension on its lease first.

“We met with BMP last Thursday, and should have something drafted early next week,” Swanson said.

• The board voted against adopting a “Port Commissioner Code of Ethics Policy” that board president Bill Mahan said he came up with. The policy would dictate certain behaviors of the commissioners, including their employment if and when their commissioner terms end.

“I’m opposed to this,” said Stokes. “I think this is a personal matter, and I was elected by the voters for who I am and how I act. I think this should be a voluntary situation, and I will vote no.”

Stokes and Zabinski both voted no, and with Mahan the only “yes” vote, the resolution did not pass.

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