Leases from tenants won’t cover all costs | Letter to the editor

Posted 5/13/22

Complements to Ross Anderson for his article April 28. His assessment that arts and education aren’t going to support “heating, maintenance and upgrades to the fort” seems obvious. …

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Leases from tenants won’t cover all costs | Letter to the editor

Posted

Complements to Ross Anderson for his article April 28. His assessment that arts and education aren’t going to support “heating, maintenance and upgrades to the fort” seems obvious. The original primary mission of the PDA was to preserve the fort and contribute money to support the rest of parks in exchange for leasing the “Life Long Learning Center.”

Splitting off the money making engine of “food, beverage, and housing” to a nonprofit rather than actively managing it themselves, seems to indicate the PDA is less serious about making money for the state.

Using the argument that “How does a public agency justify buying scotch by the case?” as a reason seems shallow as they were selling scotch before the Pandemic. Besides the Washington State Department of Transportation allows the sale of alcohol on the ferries (which is part of the state highway system) and that justification was somehow overcome.

As to a thorough reorganization I’m skeptical. Given that David King (former mayor), Dave Timmons (former city manager), and Rodger Schmitt (former parks commissioner) occupy three of eight positions on the board and helped father the PDA, do we expect the fort to be managed for the reduction in the $100 million of backlogged maintenance or for the benefit of the tourist trade bonus to the city and the nonprofits?

Renegotiating nonprofit leases is way overdue since they have always been below market. Will it pay for the taxpayer gift to the PDA of $150,000 for maintenance, suspension of their obligation to sell $250,000 in Discovery passes or pay the difference and forgiving the 3.5 percent of gross income payment to the state for a year?

The citizens are paying for the nonprofits if their rents don’t cover these gifts.

Gregg Knowles
PORT HADLOCK

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