Saturday Morning Live for June 22, 2013

GP_Pictures_1Wondering About the Waterfront? Port of Bellingham Commissioners Weigh-In Port of Bellingham Commissioner Scott Walker and “former” Port of Bellingham Commissioner Doug Smith, join the SML show to talk about the evolution of and where we are today on the Bellingham Waterfront Redevelopment project.

After the 8:00 AM show, Commissioners Walker and Smith joined Lorraine Newman and myself to continue our discussion of the Waterfront Redevelopment Project.  I’ve included that interview and also Commissioner Walker’s emailed comment to me about our conversation today:

With the very thin media coverage of this project, it is frustrating to constantly hear misstatements from the public.  My favorite: the City owns the waterfront!

Hopefully, I corrected a few.  MTCA funds are taxes on crude oil, earmarked for cleanups, although only a fraction is ever spent on that.  It will be collected whether we spend it on the intended purpose or not.  Since Whatcom county refineries supply more than half of the states petroleum needs, we should be getting our share.

Secondly, the Western Crossings is not a new government agency.  It has no taxing authority, and no staff.  It is a holding company to facilitate development on the waterfront.  Each entities contribution into it are booked separately, and eventual profits are shared at that percentage.  We expect that the capital that WWU can attract will, within a few years, result in development of the site, Port land will be sold and the Port paid. Clean up of the site, sale of the land, and repayment of the cleanup costs have been basic tenants since the due diligence period of 2004.  ~ Scott Walker

Seattle Times 2007 GP Article Herald Article: WWU / Port Sale MOU

Show Outline Port Show Part 1 Port Show Part 2

Port Show Part 1:

Port Show Part 2: 

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