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Port Forgoes Rate Increase for Third Straight Year

Burlington – Port of Skagit tenants, many of whom are struggling due to the current economic conditions, got some help when the port’s Board of Commissioners voted Dec. 14 to forego for 2011 the adjustment the port usually makes to its lease rates annually to account for inflation.

The Port of Skagit owns and operates three key facilities: the Skagit Regional Airport, the Bayview Business Park and the La Conner Marina. Combined, these three facilities are home to more 85 businesses that employ in excess of 1,000 people.

“We are doing this for all of our tenants in the interest of trying to keep their businesses healthy,” said Dr. Kevin Ware, chairman of the port commission.

 Normal port practice is to adjust lease rates annually in line with changes in the Consumer Price Index. Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy has risen 0.4 percent in the Seattle-Bremerton region, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

 This is the third straight year that the port has decided not to take a CPI increase due to ongoing weakness in the economy. A total of 85 port tenants are affected by the decision. Hangar rentals and tie-down fees at Skagit Regional Airport also will remain unchanged in 2011, as will wet moorage fees at the La Conner Marina, the commission decided.

 The federal Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services. According the BLS statistics, the index for all items less food and energy was unchanged nationally in October, the third month in a row with no change. The indexes for shelter and medical care rose, but these increases were offset by declines in an array of indexes including new vehicles, used cars and trucks, apparel, recreation, and tobacco.

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