With expansion projects in the planning phases for Boat Haven, which is currently at capacity, and Point Hudson in the midst of the jetty replacement project, the Port of Port Townsend is bustling …
With expansion projects in the planning phases for Boat Haven, which is currently at capacity, and Point Hudson in the midst of the jetty replacement project, the Port of Port Townsend is bustling with activity.
But the port will get some outside help. Port commissioners have approved a move to hire a private consultant for the jetty project, with a cost not to exceed $245,000.
The new hire will help manage the day-to-day of the jetty project, allowing port staff to focus more on balancing the demands of what comes next.
Kingston resident Tom Coultas will fill the position to act as resident engineer on the Point Hudson jetty replacement.
“The resident engineer is typically the person that just sets up residence, lives on the property for the owner to be present, to be attentive to construction, answer the contractors’ questions, to respond to the contractor in a timely manner,” Matt Klontz, capitol projects director for the port, said at the port board’s final meeting in September.
“You know the old cliche, ‘time is money,’ is very true in construction. There’s actual contractual requirements for when we have to answer their questions or get back to them,” he added.
Coultas has a background in marine construction and even spent time working with Orion Marine Contractors, the group working on the jetty replacement project.
“He knows marine construction so he’s definitely able to read between the lines of conversations which helps when it comes to anticipating problems,” Klontz said.
“One of the key components of construction, from an owners standpoint with the port as project owner, is having a presence for a couple things: one, quality control, making sure it’s being built correctly … The other thing that’s really important is communication. These projects are complicated. They need constant communication,” he said.
The salary cost had already been built into the original budget estimate, assuming the resident engineer would work 30 hours a week over a six-month period for two seasons.
Port Commissioner Pam Petranek asked why Klontz could not manage the project himself.
“Are we adding another layer?” Petranek asked.
Klontz responded by making clear the level of dedication required.
“I definitely spend time every day here on the project; it’s just not six, or seven, or eight hours a day,” Klontz said.
“Truth be told, I would like to be that guy, but the reality is we have so many projects right now that I can’t,” Klontz added.
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