The Port of Allyn approved its 2019 budget on December 5, at the regularly scheduled Port Commission meeting. The total operating budget is $566,766, and includes a cash carryover of $122,962 from the 2018 budget. According to Executive Director Lary Coppola — who wrote the budget and is charge of implementing it — the 2019 Budget includes $24,000 to hire the lobbying firm of Gordon Thomas Honeywell Government Affairs (GTHGA) who will be seeking funding for Port projects like the historic Sargent Oyster House restoration. It also adds $5,000 to the January through April 2019 operating budget. That is the money the Port sets aside until it receives its share of property tax collection payments from Mason County. The majority of those payments come in April and October.
The Port also approved a Capital Projects Budget of $1,068,720. That money includes $364,720 already allocated from the State Capital Budget for a transient moorage project at the Allyn Dock that is being carried over from 2018; $500,000 for property acquisition as part of a pending potential Boating Facilities Grant; and a $200,000 ask from the State Capital Budget for the Sargent Oyster House. Securing that money will initially be the primary focus of the lobbyists at GTHGA, who will also be actively looking for other ways to help the Port.
The Port Commissioners also approved a budget of $11,255 for the community water system it operates in Allyn.
The Port is in solid financial shape according to Coppola, and besides its cash carryover, has unbudgeted reserves of over $100,000, including a $20,000 general reserve fund, more than $30,000 in the State Investment Pool, and over $69,000 in Timber Tax revenue. It also paid cash to replace the Port’s maintenance truck in 2018 at a cost of $26,300, and spent another $8,000 on grading and maintenance repairs on the parking lots at all its facilities. In addition, it transitioned to new, more efficient accounting software, upgraded its computer hardware, and has no deferred maintenance at any of it properties. The Port also has unused Industrial Development District funds of $171,747 sitting in reserve, drawing interest.
The Port conducted three public hearings on the budget, which began in late September and carried through to the November 5, meeting. The only negative input came from one resident who questioned using lobbyists to secure funding for the Oyster House. Coppola defended the move, and recounted his experience as Mayor of Port Orchard in 2011 using the very same team of GTHGA lobbyists now helping the Port. “They got us $700,000 the first year for the DeKalb Street Pier project, at a cost to the City of $25,000,” said Coppola. The firm also secured an additional $400,000 for the City the following year. “In my view, that’s a pretty good return on Investment.”