In the continuing dilemma of what to do with the ageing, ailing John Wayne Marina, councilors from the City of Sequim, Washington voted unanimously to ask the Port of Port Angeles to transfer the marina to the city at no cost.

The city is requesting the ‘no cost’ deal in order to fund infrastructure repairs, estimated at between US$23m and US$26m over the next 20 years and has further requested that starting in 2020, marina profits be placed in a special fund for future improvements and be included in the transfer.

The intent for the city is to maintain public access to the waterfront, keep public input in the policy decision process for the marina, and maintain and/or expand recreational and commercial opportunities, according to Sequim Public Works Director David Garlinton and the Sequim Gazatte.

The Port of Port Angeles has been trying to sell or lease the property, which it said is a financial drain.

John Wayne Enterprises (JWE), and its president, Ethan Wayne, the late actor’s son, and a Sequim Bay landowner, has opposed ownership of the marina by any entity other than the port. JWE deeded the property to the port in 1981 specifically for the development of a public marina. JWE owns 105 acres next to the marina valued at $3.6m and zoned for planned-resort-community development.

While the city proposal is the only received by the port authority since it issued a Request for Information (RFI) last March, a limiting factor to the number of applications is that the city’s Shoreline Master Program doesn’t allow private ownership or private management of marinas.

Under the proposal, the city would create an enterprise fund to reinvest marina revenues only into the property, waiting 10 years before major replacements are implemented to develop additional revenue sources for the marina, while seeking and working with new partners to contribute to additional leasing fees, and work with John Wayne Enterprises to see if off-site development could produce new income.

The proposal also outlines reductions in capacity and downsizing if marina revenues don’t support the current marina configuration.