Port commission accepts transfer of Tank Farm
The Port of Everett Commission meeting room erupted into applause after the Port of Everett on Sept. 10 authorized the acceptance of the Mukilteo Tank Farm from the U.S. Air Force.
The port has worked with the city of Mukilteo, city of Everett, Washington State Ferries, Sound Transit and Community Transit for decades to secure the 20-acre Tank Farm for transportation and community access purposes.
The action taken by the port commission was hailed a "momentous occasion" by Mayor Joe Marine, and as one of the most significant steps for the city of Mukilteo in more than 70 years.
“This was an impressive effort,” Port Commissioner Troy McClelland said.
On behalf of the current and former Port Commissioners, McClelland thanked Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Rick Larsen for their leadership, along with the staffs of the Port of Everett, city of Mukilteo, Washington State Ferries, Sound Transit and Community Transit "for sticking through all the ups and downs of the transfer, and finding our way to the finish line."
“I would also like to recognize the strategic efforts of our Chief Administrative Officer Les Reardanz and the tireless efforts of our Chief of Engineering and Planning John Klekotka to bring this transfer to closure,” McClelland said.
“And to our Executive Director John Mohr who led this effort for the past 16 years, our community has their waterfront back because of your willingness to see this rollercoaster ride out.”
Following the action, the port commission amended the port's Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements to include the new parcel of land. The last step before the property is in local control is the final signature from the Secretary of the Air Force.
In 2001, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., included language in a Defense Authorization bill transferring the Tank Farm from the U.S. Air Force to the Port of Everett.
She has since worked with many state, local and federal officials to craft a solution satisfactory to stakeholders in order to revitalize the Mukilteo waterfront, improve transportation options, and modernize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center field research station.
“I have been working to transfer the Tank Farm to the Port of Everett for over a decade, and I am thrilled this project is finally moving forward,” said Sen. Patty Murray.
“Thanks to years of hard work from stakeholders across the region, the completion of this transfer will greatly benefit the communities of Mukilteo and Everett and improve access to the waterfront for years to come.”
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen was also vital in helping push this transfer along.
“The transfer of the Mukilteo Tank Farm has been a long time coming,” said Rep. Rick Larsen, Wash. District 2.
“Congratulations to the Port of Everett who, in collaboration with the city of Mukilteo and many other entities, have worked tirelessly on this project. There is still work to be done to transform the waterfront, but I’m pleased we’re taking this big step forward.”
The port is currently in negotiations with Washington State Ferries, Sound Transit and the city of Mukilteo to subsequently transfer the land to enable the envisioned multimodal facility, which includes the relocation of the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal to the Tank Farm property, which is expected to open as soon as 2018.
Nicole McIntosh from Washington State Ferries thanked the port for its efforts over the years.
“I really appreciate the Port of Everett stepping up to accept this property on behalf of the project partners,” she said. “This is really an exciting day.”
Public access will be a top priority for the Port of Everett once the property transfers.
In the 2014 capital improvement project budget, the port will construct the road on the east side of the property. Once the road is complete, the port will be able to provide the much-awaited access to Edgewater Beach near Mount Baker Terminal.
“This is so exciting for Mukilteo,” former Port Commissioner Don Hopkins said. “We never thought we’d see the day.”
-Edited by Beacon staff