Port nets $2.6M insurance settlement for Spring Street Landing building

The six months of negotiations between the Port of Friday Harbor and its insurers over compensation for the loss of the Port's Spring Street Landing building once again validated an old axiom about insurance: getting money out of an insurance company is like squeezing water out rock.

But the Port and its lawyer did squeeze $2.635 million out of Lexington Insurance Company. That amount is at the top of the $2.2 mllion to $2.6 million range predicted a month ago by port Commissioner Greg Hertel.

"We're very satisfied with the settlement," Commission Chairman Mike Ahrenius said. "It was a good joint effort by everybody to get it done."

Moving ahead with replacement of the building will be the subject of a rare evening Port Commission meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 11, at San Juan Island Yacht Club. The agenda includes approving design changes requested after the latest design presented to the public and commission a month ago.

At that meeting, dissatisfaction with what was called the "Anthony's Look" bubbled up. Comments from the public and the commission said the building should look "like it belongs in a working port," as Hertel put it.

At $2.6 million, the amount of the settlement is not expected to cover the cost of replacement of the Spring Street Landing building, the price tag of which is estimated at roughly $4 million.

The commission will also consider a "final draft" of the Waterfront Master Plan, which applies to both the Friday Harbor waterfront and Jackson's Beach.

— Steve Wehrly



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