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Patriot Bremerton

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FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014 | Vol. 17, No. 9 WWW.BREMERTONPATRIOT.COM | 50¢

New flea market is a big hit $20 car tab fees are here to stay


There was a line at the cash register Sunday at the Uptown Mercantile & Marketplace. Outside about 30 vendors were set up and selling their wares. Tables were filled with market-goers snacking on pizza and salad, tacos and delectable cupcakes. It was the first Sunday community flea market in downtown Bremerton and business was booming. “I’m just thrilled,” said Amber Breske, owner of the Uptown Mercantile & Marketplace. “I’m totally excited.” It was Breske’s idea to start the market. She said it came to her when she first went to look at the location at 816 Pacific Ave. “We’ve had a steady crowd since we opened at 10 a.m.,” she said, as she helped a friend cook miniature pizzas on a hot grill. “I think this really speaks volumes about how Bremerton needs something like this.” A former automobile dealership, the business is open daily, while the 4,000 square-foot empty service

In split vote, city council extends life of Transportation Benefit District BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM

Leslie Kelly/staff photo

Pam Harned, who collects and sells everything pink, relaxed on a sofa she had for sale at the Sunday flea market in Bremerton last weekend. The market continues every Sunday. bay next door will be used on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the flea market. Breske said about half of the vendors who took part Sunday plan to be there every week, while the other half will return when they can, opening up spaces for new vendors every week. “We want to keep it changing all the time so that

there’s something new to see every week,” she said. Most of the vendors on Sunday were local, but a few traveled from Seattle to show their collections. Among the items Sunday were hand-knitted bags, handmade soaps and candles, some shabby chic furnishings and garden art. There was even live music

provided by a local band, Milissa and the Mixers. Sandy Robbins was showing her knitted bags and yarn art. “I live just down the street,” Robbins said. “I’ve been showing my stuff at flea markets since 2009 and I’m so glad to have something like this close to SEE MARKET, A9

In a 4-3 vote last week, the Bremerton City Council voted to extend the life of the city’s Transportation Benefit District, which collects $20 car tab fees from residents, to 2020. The TBD, a separate legal entity with a board that mirrors that of the council, but meets separately, was created in 2009 and was originally scheduled to dissolve in February of next year. The TBD began collecting $20 car tab fees from Bremerton residents in 2011. That was after voters overwhelmingly rejected $30 car tab fees in a ballot measure in 2009, with about 70 percent voting no. City Council President

Greg Wheeler, citing that rejection by voters, voted against extending the TBD. “The citizens came back with a mandate,” Wheeler said. “This was not close. They came with a mandate and said, ‘Don’t do this.’” Wheeler noted that last week’s vote only dealt with extending the TBD and not necessarily ongoing collection of $20 car tab fees. “But, this decision is not in a vacuum,” he said. “They are inter-related.” Several citizens also spoke out against extending the district another six years during last week’s public hearing. Bremerton resident Bob Dollar said he was opposed to the possibility of extending the TBD. Dollar also spoke out against using TBD dollars for capital improvement projects like the Lower Wheaton Way Project which recently got $250,000 from the TBD. “That’s outrageous,” he said. “That’s not what we were told it was going to be SEE TBD, A9

Port increases Port Orchard Marina moorage fees BY LESLIE KELLY LKELLY@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM

Rents are going up for boat owners with covered moorage at the Port Orchard Marina. Commissioners for the Port of Bremerton unanimously approved a 5 percent increase in moorage rates Tuesday for the 158 covered slips at the Port Orchard Marina. The Port Orchard Marina is owned and operated by the Port of Bremerton. Port CEO Jim Rothlin said Bob Wise, a consultant to the port, recommended that the rates be increased 10 percent. But the staff ’s

recommendation was 5 percent. That would mean that the owner of a 36-foot boat slip would see the rent go up from $305.64 to $320.92. Rothlin said even with the 5 percent increase, Port Orchard’s rates would remain competitive and would be less that at other marinas in the target market area. With the increase that begins June 1, the port will see an extra $12,324 a year. “Covered moorage like what we have at Port Orchard is sought after,” said Rothlin. “The staff ’s feeling is that we can raise it 5 percent this year without

any issues for current tenants.” Comparable covered moorage is from $8 to $13 a foot, whereas before the raise, the rates at Port Orchard were from $7 to $11, depending on exact location. Following the vote to approve the increase, Port Commissioner Larry Stokes reminded fellow commissioners and staff that while the Port Orchard Marina may be full and making a profit, there’s a need to save money for future needs at the marina. “When you have a $30 million marina, you need to put back about $250,000 a

year over the lifetime of the marina so that we will be in the financial place that we can replace it when needed,” he said. “We need to be saving a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year to do that.” In an accompanying measure, the commission also approved a change in lease terms at the Bremerton Marina. Currently moorage is offered at a base rate of $288 a month for a 36-foot slip, with the seventh month free. But commissioners were told last month by Wise that the offer should be changed to reflect a lower rate for seven months. In doing that, rates will

now be $247 a month for that same 36-foot slip for seven months with a signed seven month lease. Rothlin said this new arrangement will allow staff to quote the lower contractual rate which will be a “more effective” marketing incentive. The new incentive option becomes effective May 1. In a related matter, the port also approved a new schedule of late fees. CFO Becky Swanson told commissioners that the amount of staff time to process late fees has significantly increased in past months. She estimated that at Port Orchard in any given month there was from 28 to

35 percent of tenants who paid late. At the Bremerton Marina, the range was from 7 to 20 percent. For hangars and tie-downs at the airport, the late payments were from 3 to 5 percent of tenants, and at the Olympic Industrial Park, there were anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of tenants who paid late. “It’s a little bit alarming,” Swanson said. “And when it goes beyond 60 days, we have to file the appropriate legal papers and chain down the boat and begin the process of seizing and selling it.” SEE PORT, A9

Bremerton Patriot, April 11, 2014  
Bremerton Patriot, April 11, 2014  

April 11, 2014 edition of the Bremerton Patriot