[VIDEO] The idea of increasing property taxes to save Oakland Bay Marina was suggested Saturday at the Port of Shelton’s second community forum on the future of the Shelton marina. There were also questions about the Port’s lease with the Shelton Yacht Club and its building, and the tideland under the marina which is owned by the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Simpson Timber Company. The Port Commissioners were urged to consider Oakland Bay Marina an asset to the community and not consider selling it.

The Port’s Executive Director, Wendy Smith, started the meeting by making the same presentation she made on April 3rd. (Video of that presentation can be found by clicking here.) Then the Port Commissioners took comments from those in attendance. (This video is of that testimony.)

Mike Byrne was the third person to speak and made the suggestion about a property tax increase. Byrne lives in the City of Shelton (which is in the Port District) and has a boathouse at the marina. He said he would be willing to pay an additional $50 or $60 a year in property tax to help fund the repair of the marina’s south dock which is estimated to cost nearly $3 Million. Byrne also believes other Port District property owners would also be willing to pay more taxes.

The suggestions made Saturday morning are what Port officials wants to hear as they discuss what to do with the marina. Among the options brought up by Port staff include selling the marina, repairing the south dock as scheduled, or some kind of public/private partnership to manage and/or develop the marina property.

There are limitations as to what can be done at the site as it has limited property to develop and limited parking space as it is just off Highway 3 and is bordered by a Navy-owned railroad. Also, the building currently is NOT served by sewer and estimated costs to extend sewer have NOT been cost effective.

However, the Port wants to hear from everyone and have scheduled another community forum for 6 PM Wednesday, April 18th. This forum will be held in the Auditorium at Mason PUD 3’s Operations Center on Johns Prairie.

If you are unable to attend Wednesday night, MasonWebTV Powered by HCC will provide a live video stream of that forum.

You can email your comments and/or suggestion to debs@portofshelton.com. There is also a Port of Shelton Commission meeting at 2 PM Tuesday, April 17th where you can also provide your input on any topic.