A decade ago, leaders gathered at Bellingham airport to finally sign an agreement to clean up the old GP mill site. Fourteen state, federal, tribal groups and GP had come to an agreement, seven years in the making. Sparkling cider flowed, speeches were made. Mayor Mark said that in two or three years most of the major work cleaning up the waterfront would be finished. Kremen said now the work could begin, with the planning over.
Out of the blue, Port’s Chmelik threatened to sue. The port coveted the GP lagoon for a yacht marina. The port was going to seize this pond full of toxic soup; 20,000 truckloads of poisonous waste. GP gave us the soup, which has not moved.
Port said we would recoup from this soup with real estate sales, black gold, Texas Tea.
Let us lead said the port, we have done our homework. Worst case, we’ll break even.
The port finally has a sale pending. The port is selling the Granary, which I believe is worth $700,000, for $200,000. The rest of the land is being sold for half its appraised value in 2009, with a taxpayer subsidy of not having to pay impact fees, like you or I. Port is offering financing: 4 percent down floating interest, currently 2.7 percent. Nineteen acres is all they could sell, but in 100 years we will get our money back.
I asked: Did we lose money? Their reply; we will tell you Wednesday, right after the public hearing in the middle of the workday Tuesday.