Port proposes $6.2 million budget for 2018

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Charles H. Featherstone/Columbia Basin Herald Port of Moses Lake Executive Director Jeffrey Bishop along with commissioners Darrin Jackson, Stroud Kunkle and David ‘Kent’ Jones met on Monday to consider the Port’s 2018 budget.

MOSES LAKE — The Port of Moses Lake is proposing an operating budget of $6.2 million for 2018, with anticipated revenue for the same period of $8.3 million.

The budget was presented to Port commissioners at a regular meeting on Monday morning. Commissioners reviewed the proposed budget, and will vote on it at their next meeting on Monday, Nov. 27.

The Port of Moses Lake — Grant County Port District No. 10 — receives roughly $1.7 million in taxpayer funding thanks to a 45-cent levy per $1,000 on the assessed value of property in the port district, which encompasses much of the area around Moses Lake.

According to Kim DeTrolio, director of finance and administration for the Port of Moses Lake, the Port is also budgeting $7 million in capital expenditures for 2018 compared with anticipated revenue of $5 million, leaving a roughly $2 million deficit.

However, DeTrolio told commissioners she was fairly confident the Port would likely not have to spend all that money.

She also told commissioners the Port will likely receive unexpected revenue in 2018 in much the same way it did during the current year.

“We have revenue we cannot budget,” she said. “Like Mobility Guardian, which got us around $100,000. There are a couple of things each year we cannot budget for.”

Mobility Guardian was a joint American and allied military exercise held here in August that simulated seizing, holding and running an airport.

“We put things on the budget just in case,” DeTrolio said. “We’re working really hard to stay within our cash flows.”

Port Executive Director Jeffrey Bishop said he and Commissioner Darrin Jackson would be traveling to Washington, D.C., in part to talk about the possibility of doing even more business with the Pentagon.

“We are a defense contractor,” Bishop said.

The Port’s largest capital expenditure in the upcoming year will be $4.75 million in work on the North Columbia Basin Railroad Project, which will extend the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad hub from Wheeler east of Moses Lake into the Port itself.

The project is slated to cost around $30 million, all of which is paid for by state and federal grants.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at countygvt@columbiabasinherald.com.

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