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Port of Grapeview responds to break-in, thefts

The Port of Grapeview had a break-in and theft from its storage shed, which port commissioners addressed during their Sept. 19 meeting.

As commission chair Mike Blaisdell reported, an inventory of the shed's contents showed the port's lawnmower was stolen, and that Commissioner Art Whitson had filed a police report.

"I'm just lucky I decided to go by the port that day, because nobody really noticed it," Whitson said. "I happened to look over (and thought), 'Why is the door open?' "

Blaisdell said the port has insurance coverage for the storage shed and "a certain amount of its contents," but the deductible is $1,000, and the loss of equipment is less than that.

When Commissioner Jean Farmer asked whether the storage shed's lock had been replaced with a better model, Whitson suggested the shed's security vulnerabilities were "more than that." The door was reinforced after the break-in to make it harder to "knock it down." Blaisdell said the shed's location puts it "a little bit out of sight," which makes it vulnerable.

Blaisdell raised the possibility of moving the shed, and Whitson floated the possibility of siting it next to the port's restroom facilities.

"That would be a safer spot," Whitson said. "I was a crane engineer for Boeing for about 10 years, so it's very doable, if the crane has capacity."

The shed also contains years' worth of paperwork, and Farmer suggested materials older than seven years should be disposed of securely.

The commissioners reviewed quote estimates for servicing an oil-water separator, with Blaisdell noting the work Whitson has done to find a vendor.

Whitson reported two quotes, one from Boston Harbor Services, which has a presence in Olympia. Representatives of the business reported they saw the need to saw-cut the asphalt while performing the servicing, for a total cost of $2,707.08. The other quote from Precision Environmental Vactor Services of Shelton was for $1,012.49.

Whitson recommended the lower bid.

Blaisdell asked how critical it would be to the port for that work to be conducted "within the next month or two." Whitson said, "If we were a yard where we were handling oil and petroleum products, I'd say ... well, it's something we should be doing every year, but putting on my practical risk hat, I don't think we have a problem."

Blaisdell said they wouldn't know until Oct. 30 whether the port will receive a Recreation and Conservation Office grant that could go toward servicing the oil-water separator, which Whitson said he was waiting on to determine when to execute certain activities.

"I think we can defer the oil-water separator to 2024," Whitson said, which prompted Blaisdell to postpone any decision to the port commissioners' next scheduled meeting in October.

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Kirk Boxleitner, Reporter

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Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald
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