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Port OKs $5.2M budget

After struggling for several years to make ends meet, and following the destruction caused by the 2011 tsunami, the Port of Brookings Harbor is doing better financially and hopes to make a few improvements to existing facilities.

“We’re not striking it rich, but we’re paying the bills,” said Port Manager Ted Fitzgerald.

On Tuesday, the port commission unanimously approved a $5.2 million budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Part of the budget includes a 5-percent increase in fees, effective July 1.

People will pay an additional 5 percent to moor their boats at the port or camp at the Beachfront RV Park.

“Our moorage fees have typically been underpriced compared to most ports of our size, and we want to bring them up a little at a time,” Fitzgerald said.

Port fees for cold storage, repair yard activities, gear and boat storage will also increase by 5 percent.

The commission decided not to raise the rent at the retail shopping area, based on Fitzgerald’s recommendation.

“If we raise the retail rental rates by 5 percent then we will lose a lot of tenants,” he told the commissioners.

He said there are plenty of rental opportunities outside the port area in Brookings and Harbor. The commission agreed.

The rate increases were based primarily on annual inflation and cost of living increases, Fitzgerald said. The extra revenue will go toward port maintenance and building projects.

“We hope to get some paving done at various locations in the port,” he said. 

The port will continue to renovate moorage areas in the recreational and commercial docks, as well as the cold storage facility, which generates significant revenue.

Some money will be spent on improving the former Dick and Casey’s building, with the goal of turning it into a profitable fish market, Fitzgerald said.

The budget is a little bigger than last year’s, mostly because of an increase in revenue in 2012-13 that is likely to continue, he said.

For example, more commercial fish buyers are paying to use the new public hoist at the commercial dock, and more fishermen are paying rent for space at the port’s boat yard to work on vessels, he said.

Approximately $3.75 million of the approved $5.2 million budget will go to the port’s general fund, which includes:

•$802,000 for personnel.

•$1,717,092 for materials and services.

•$300,000 for contingency.

•$935,940 for transfers.

Another $307,780 will be used to pay off debt, $130,120 for a revenue bond debt, and $989,278 to the capital outlay fund.

Residents living within the port district, which stretches from the Oregon/California border to the Pistol River, will pay 13 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value for the 2013-14 tax year. 

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