By TERRY ASLA
BROWNSVILLE — Port of Brownsville staff will provide maintenance to the Port of Keyport’s marina under an interlocal agreement approved and signed by commissioners Jan. 13.
The two port districts are neighbors, located midway between Bremerton and Poulsbo.
Under the authority of the Washington State Interlocal Cooperation Act and the Port Joint Powers Authority, port districts may enter into such cooperative agreements. The best known example is the interlocal agreement between the port districts of Seattle and Tacoma. However, to the best of his knowledge, this is the first such agreement between two Kitsap County port districts, according to Brownsville port manager Jerry Rowland.
He expects to see more of them in the future. “There are 11 port districts in Kitsap County, and only four of them — Poulsbo, Bremerton, Kingston and Brownsville — have staff,” he said.
At Keyport and the other six, the commissioners have to do the work themselves or try to hire outside firms. It was the difficulty of finding qualified outside contractors and equipment that led Keyport to approach Brownsville, according to Keyport Port Commissioner Gene Warden.
While Keyport and Brownsville have always enjoyed friendly relations, commissioners from both ports stressed that no thought is being given to merging the two port districts — or to merging with any other port districts — in the future. “We value what we are and who we serve,” Warden said. “This agreement helps assure we can keep doing what we need to do, even in these challenging times.”
Brownsville Port Commission President Jack Bailey agreed. “This adds another revenue stream for Brownsville and helps us train and keep qualified staff.”
Under the agreement, Brownsville staff will regularly inspect Keyport’s docks and keep them clean and in safe repair. Staff hours will be billed according to the Port of Brownsville tariff, which presently is $37.50 per hour. Materials will be charged on a cost basis. It is estimated that routine maintenance services — cleaning the docks and making any minor electrical and water line repairs and so forth — will require about two hours a month. Additional services may be requested on a case by case basis.
The agreement continues through Dec. 31, 2020, although either party may terminate the agreement with 30 days.