The Port of Allyn’s Sargent Oyster House historic restoration project has received a double dose of funding from the Washington State Legislature. The Port — which owns the historic building — had requested $712,000 for the full restoration of the building. But on the advice of Gordon Thomas Honeywell Government Affairs (GTHGA) — the lobbying firm the Port had hired to help secure funding — that ask was reduced to an amount that could fund what work could be actually accomplished between now and the next budget appropriation. The Legislature slated $218,000 for that work. Additionally, the North Bay Historic Society, had filed a grant request for $160,000 which was also funded.
“We are finally going to be able to make some serious progress on the restoration,” said an elated Lary Coppola, Executive Director of the Port upon getting the news. “Credit for this really needs to go to our Legislative Delegation — Representative Dan Griffey, who ran point on this, as well as Representative Drew McEwen and Senator Tim Sheldon who worked hard to make sure both requests made it into the final budget.” Coppola also praised GTHGA for their work behind the scenes in the trenches in Olympia. “Our lobbyists worked continually promoting this project to individual legislators, and kept us updated all throughout the process. Without them, this would not have come to fruition,” Coppola said.
Once the budget is signed into law, work on the project can begin on the 70-year old structure, which was moved to Port property in 2014 by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Once it is stabilized — which the Historical Society money will pay for — the actual restoration work can begin. Part of the project also includes removal of the Port’s old boat ramp at the Waterfront Park in Allyn. Then pilings will be driven to support the overwater portion of the building when it is moved to its permanent site where the launch ramp sits currently. When completed, the building will become a museum detailing the history of the shellfish industry on North Bay and in Allyn.
“This is the best news we could have gotten,” said Port of Allyn Commissioner Judy Scott, who has been the point person for the project. “A lot of people, especially our legislators and the lobbying team, but the many volunteers and the members of the North Bay Historical Society as well, have all worked really hard to make this happen — and we are grateful to all of them.”