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Port Commission Approves 2015 Budget

The Port of Skagit will focus next year on economic development initiatives aimed at bringing good jobs to the Skagit Valley while investing in infrastructure improvements on its own properties, as outlined in the 2015 operating and capital budgets approved by the port commissioners on Nov. 18.

The 2015 operating budget foresees operating revenues growing 2.92 percent from 2014, to $5.26 million, and expenses growing 2.9 percent, to $4.8 million. As in 2014, the port plans slight increases in moorage rates at the La Conner Marina and rental rates at Skagit Regional Airport to keep up with current market conditions. In addition, strong occupancy rates at the port’s facilities will contribute to the improved revenues.

During 2015, the port will derive 54 percent of its operating revenues from the La Conner Marina and dry boat storage, 33 percent from the Bayview Business Park and Conway industrial site, and 13 percent from Skagit Regional Airport. Employee wages and benefits will account for 57 percent of operating expenses.

“Keeping revenue ahead of expenses is a good thing,” said Commissioner Steven Omdal, president of the port commission. “We are making money and using it to do good work.”

The port’s 2014 capital budget totals $6.595 million, nearly double last year’s total. Major projects include grading the Runway Safety Area at the west end of Runway 11-29 at Skagit Regional Airport and dredging the La Conner Marina’s south boat basin.

The port’s property tax levy will produce income of $2,050,000 in 2014. The millage rate will rise two cents to approximately 23 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That means the owner of a $200,000 home will pay an additional $4 in property tax to the port next year. Port policy dictates that property tax revenue is not used to pay for the cost of operations.

If you are a reporter seeking information about the Port of Skagit, please call Andrew Entrikin, community outreach administrator, at 360-757-0011 or email andrew@portofskagit.com