How much does it cost to run the Port for a year?

By Bob McChesney, Executive Director, the Port of Edmonds | Jul 28, 2011

Many people do not fully understand where the Port of Edmonds gets its money.

Taxes cover barely six percent of our expected 2011 expenses, for example.

So where does the other 94 percent come from? And what will we do with the $7.2 million we will bring in this year?

We thought you might like to know.

To begin, budget planning is a long and complicated annual process.

For each year, it begins in August and is finalized and passed in November.

The Commissioners and staff spend the intervening time estimating as accurately as possible the various sources of revenue and expenses.

The overriding consideration is keeping the Port on a sound financial footing, insuring that it continues to be a physical and financial asset and a source of pride for the community.

On the income side, in 2011 roughly half of the Port’s $7.2 million in revenue will come from moorage tenants, including those in dry storage.

Another 21 percent will be from Harbor Square, 17 percent from the sale of fuel and from the boatyard, boat launcher, guest moorage and other marina operations.

The balance of income will come from the Port’s other rental properties (seven percent), and property taxes (six percent).

As with most businesses today, the largest expense items are employee salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes, which account for 29 percent of the $7.1 million operating expense.

Close behind is depreciation expense at 24 percent.

The remainder of expenses (roughly half) is made up of a variety of other items, including the cost of things we sell, interest, and operating expenses.

Less than one percent of Port dollars are directly allocated to economic development, although a significant amount of time of individual Commissioners and staff members is directed to community economic development activities such as redevelopment of the Harbor Square business park.

Besides the dollars and cents of operations, the Port Commission and staff each year prepare a completely separate plan for what are called capital items.

These include new construction and improvements to buildings, docks and other physical assets.

The only major capital items for 2011 are replacement of the walers on the mid-marina docks and continued environmental improvements in the boatyard.

For 2011, Port operating revenues are expected to exceed expenses by $171,000.

These funds will go towards making our annual bond payments for the money we borrowed to rebuild the marina after the 1996 marina snowstorm collapse.

Now August is upon us and we will begin the budgeting process all over again, this time for 2012.

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