Port of Orcas approves 2019 budget

In 2019, the Port of Orcas is projecting to spend only 72 percent of what it budgeted for 2018.

The five-member Port of Orcas commission approved its 2019 budget on Nov. 8.

“Almost all of the annual variation is attributable to variations in capital projects that recently, and going forward, are 95 percent funded by [the Federal Aviation Administration] and [Washington State Department of Transportation] grants,” Port of Orcas Airport manager Anthony Simpson told the Sounder. “So, if you see a difference in the overall budget, it’s most attributable to capital projects, which typically only influence our finances at 5 cents on the dollar.”

Not only are operating expenses expected to decrease, but there will also be a new source of operating revenue – aviation fuel sales. That, however, will not provide a profit to the port, Simpson said.

Simpson explained that a tenant previously operated the fuel facility but the lease expired. In addition to the rent they paid to lease the land, they also paid a fuel flowage fee of approximately 11 cents per gallon.

“We have set our fuel price … marginally above the total cost to us. …. Effectively that means that there will be no real profit for the Port,” Simpson said. “We think it’s important to have fuel available, and when [the tenant] indicated they no longer were interested in running it, we decided to continue selling fuel as a service.”

For more information about the Port of Orcas, visit http://www.portoforcas.com.