By Charlie Bermant, September 8, 2013, Peninsula Daily News
A newly constructed administration building will allow the Port of Port Townsend to become more efficient once it moves in Sept. 16, according to the port’s executive director.
“Being here means we can respond more rapidly to the needs of our tenants and allows us to be a lot closer to what we need to do,” said Larry Crockett as he inspected the new space last week.
The port is moving to the new building at 2771 Jefferson St., in the Boat Haven, after being at Point Hudson for the past nine years.
The move was precipitated by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s renting the former port office at 375 Hudson St.
The port moved out of those offices Sept. 3, relocating temporarily to 333 Benedict St.
Port offices were initially scheduled to move into the new office this week, but the relocation was put off to finish details of the new building.
This week’s regularly scheduled port meeting will be held in Quilcene to offer community outreach to the southern part of the county.
The 1 p.m. meeting will be preceded by a 9:30 a.m. workshop on Wednesday at the Timberhouse Restaurant, 295534 U.S. Highway 101 in Quilcene.
One of the agenda items is the future of the port’s Quilcene properties, which include a dock that is in need of maintenance, Crockett said.
“We need to figure out what our future is going to be down there,” he said. “The marina is small and doesn’t pay for itself.
“We need to decide whether it will continue to be a loss leader or if we want to expand our business down there.”
The port’s new building on Jefferson Street is about the same size as its past offices, about 4,000 square feet, but it is better suited to port business, Crockett said.
It includes two floors and four offices to house the eight-member administrative staff. It also has two conference rooms for meetings and presentations.
The commissioners will meet in the 333 Benedict St. location, which includes an office where they can hold private meetings, Crockett said.
The new $839,984 building was constructed by Grant Steel Buildings Systems of Port Townsend and was on time and within budget, Crockett said.
Primo Construction of Carlsborg, west of Sequim, was the apparent low bidder, but the contract was awarded to Grant in the spring because staff members said Primo’s bid was nonresponsive.
Grant’s bid for the building’s construction was $17,005 higher than Primo’s $822,984 bid, but port staff said that Primo did not respond to follow-up questions, didn’t include a delivery date for the pre-engineered metal building and did not show five years of experience with metal buildings.
Primo filed an appeal March 19, saying it had provided a schedule and had noted metal-building construction experience.
It took the complaint to Jefferson County Superior Court, where Judge Keith Harper ruled March 22 that the contract had been properly awarded.
There is no elevator in the port’s new building, so the second floor is not compatible with the Americans With Disabilities Act, but people can meet with port staff in the first-floor conference room if need be, Crockett said.