The new year brings changes at the Port of Friday Harbor. In 2019, staff and commissioners raised liveaboard fees, and plan to work on the port’s newly purchased shipyard, design a new marina fountain and potentially establish an outdoor site for a market.
As of Jan. 1, liveaboard fees at the port are a flat rate of $100 plus tax. Before, the rate was $50 per person plus $12 for each additional liveaboard on a boat. A liveaboard is a person whose boat is their primary residence.
The staff has raised liveaboard fees about $10 dollars over the past decade, so “the port had fallen below most other marina’s live-aboard rates,” according to Port Executive Director Todd Nicholson. Increased utility costs also contributed to the price change, he explained.
The port has received $472,000 in local, state and federal funding for the planning and cleaning of Jensen Boat Yard and Marina. The century-old San Juan Island business was purchased by the port last year when the previous owners retired. Unlike private companies, the port staff can use more grants to maintain and update the facility. According to commissioner Barbara Marrett, Jensen’s, which is located off Turn Point Road, is the “only working shipyard and haul-out facility” on the island and employs five full-time workers, two part-time staff members and 17 part-time subcontractors.
Port staff is looking to create a new fountain because the marina’s previous one was shut down last September. After someone vandalized the water feature, staff filled in the pond with dirt to convert it into part of the lawn. They have already started designing a new fountain, based on the port’s waterfront master plan, and Nicholson said they did not want to “waste resources” by fixing the old fountain, then quickly replace it. The new fountain will include terraced seating and a garden. The old structure, added Nicholson, also wasted town water because of leaks.
Staff and commissioners discussed creating a site for a semipermanent, open-air market on the corner of Cattle Point Road, across from the golf course. They want to potentially repurpose the three kiosks – temporarily placed at the Spring Street Landing building before it was reconstructed – to house market vendors. The kiosks, which are about 10 feet by 12 feet, were located on Front Street during the spring and fall of 2014 and 2015. Nicholson said there will be additional meetings and research about possibly creating this site, which he called a “micro-business park.”
“The objective is to create a market that augments and is beneficial to the current work being done by community organizations while creating more opportunities for the farm and craft producers,” he said.
In 2019, the staff is also preparing to complete the airport master plan; create a public picnic pavilion at Jackson Beach; rebuild several marina docks; move the dumpsters from the main pier; and purchase a larger activity float to rent out as an additional revenue stream. For more information, visit www.portfridayharbor.org.