Business, Olympia

Port may resume work on delayed capital projects

Five projects were put on hold due to the pandemic


During a budget workshop meeting on Monday, Oct. 5, Port of Olympia officials discussed several capital investment projects that were put on hold because of the pandemic, and the possibility of them resuming in 2021. 

“In March, life stopped for most of America, including us in Washington state. With that, we were directed to stop work on all capital projects,” said Racheal Jamison, planning, public works and environmental director for the port.

Work on capital projects approved by port commissioners was halted for over three months. When it could resume, contractors were especially busy and hard to hire. So, five projects were held over and appeared on a proposed 2021 capital investment plan presented by Jamison Monday. The delayed projects add a potential $1.62 million to the capital investment plan, in addition to $205,000 in all-new projects. Many of the projects, however, will take more than one year and would ultimately cost $5.875 million total over the next four years.

Among the delayed projects discussed Monday was infrastructure for an RV Resort — part of an overall plan of creating a waterfront destination on port-operated waterfront real estate. The project is slated to cost $900,000, with $750,000 to be taken from the 2021 budget. Regarding the proposed budget, Commissioner E.J. Zita recommended consulting a market analysis on whether an RV park would be wise at this point in time. While the outdoor recreation market is seeing a boon during the pandemic, Zita pointed out that officials expected more boats to be using their waterfront fuel dock during the pandemic business there actually decreased. She used that as an example for reevaluating market analysis before moving forward with the RV resort project.

Another delayed project is construction of a new marina administration office. The project as presented Monday would cost $3.4 million over the next four years, with $325,000 taken from the 2021 budget. It’s projected to be completed in 2023. Conceptual designs have already been rendered.

New projects on the budget proposal include replacing a hangar roof at the airport, creating a new dry storage yard at the marina and studying the feasibility of a new maintenance building. Additionally, a proposed $50,000 would be spent on researching  a needed berth repair at the port. Zita proposed that the money could also go toward researching how rising sea levels might affect port activity.

The Port of Olympia is scheduled to meet multiple times before approving a finalized budget. Port commissioners will vote on three separate budget items — the capital investment plan, operating budget and tax levy — on Nov. 23. The next meeting is Monday Oct. 12. 

delayed projects, pandemic, construction, marina, designs, market analysis


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