Things are looking more certain for the Port of Port Townsend’s as it works to secure matching funds through the United States Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration …
Things are looking more certain for the Port of Port Townsend’s as it works to secure matching funds through the United States Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to renovate the Point Hudson jetty.
In a December letter, the Economic Development Administration told the Port that its application for the Point Hudson project had been selected for additional consideration.
Final approval of nearly $7 million in federal funding now hinges on the Port providing additional information and confirmation that it can pay 50 percent of matching funds to finish the project.
The Port has estimated that demolishing and replacing the crumbling north and south breakwaters that protect the Point Hudson Marina will cost more than $14 million, but half of that could be paid for through an Economic Development Administration grant.
The project has seen repeated shifts in the amount of funding the federal government is willing to provide.
When it initially applied for funding through the EDA, officials with the Port of Port Townsend anticipated receiving an 80 percent match, but following a meeting in October, that match request was reduced to 66 percent.
The match was dropped again in December, when the Port received a notification from the EDA that it was being considered for the match.
Commissioners unanimously approved two resolutions related to the grant at a board meeting last week. The resolutions authorized the Port to establish a new $7 million line of credit with Cashmere Valley Bank to come up with funding for the required local match for the jetty project.
According to Port of Port Townsend executive director Eron Berg, the $7 million line of credit would serve as a bridge loan so the Port could secure its share of the matching funds in a timely manner. The loan includes the issuance of a $7 million tax-exempt general obligation bond, which was also unanimously approved by the Port at the meeting.
The line of credit will be paid back with funds levied from the Port’s Industrial Development District and other property taxes raised by the Port.
The Port also intends to seek direct funding in the amount of $2 million for the project from the Washington State Legislature during the 2021 Session.
If it is successful in receiving legislative support, the Port’s direct match contribution could be reduced to $5 million.