Rental Car Facility on schedule, creating jobs | Fishing industry still strong and vital

Rental Car Facility on schedule, creating jobs

Only one year after re-starting the project due to the bad economy, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s new Rental Car Facility celebrated it’s topping off today with the help of one of the four tower cranes on-site to signal the halfway point of a project creating an estimated 3,000 jobs. The Port of Seattle, the City of SeaTac, Turner Construction and representatives from the rental car industry and Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council placed their signatures on the top beam before it was lifted into place.

“The Port of Seattle’s mission is to create economic vitality,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “One of the ways we do that is by building transportation infrastructure in the region. This project provides family wage jobs for our community members.”

Construction on the $419 million, 23-acre site will generate more than 3,000 local, family-wage jobs and nearly $2 million in tax revenue for the City of SeaTac over the life of the project. The facility is scheduled to open in spring of 2012.

Rental Car Facility topping off

Jack Beaudoin, General Manager for Turner Construction said, "This is a great day and one we’ve all worked for hard for. We have believed all along in the viability of this project and the 'shovel ready' jobs in has provided, including more than 670,000 worker hours! This is giving an important boost to our regional economy and the families of the thousands of workers this project has touched so far."

The Consolidated Rental Car Facility will support all airport-related rental car operations at one convenient location. It is designed to meet the current and future demands of the traveling public. The facility will be a five-story structure that will greatly improve the size, space, and efficiency of rental car operations that are currently spread out from the main terminal garage and multiple off-site locations. In addition, the facility will open up two floors of public parking, more than 3,200 spaces, in the main terminal garage.

The project was temporarily suspended in December 2008 due to the meltdown in the global credit market. The Port of Seattle Commission approved the successful sale of $317 million in revenue bonds in late June 2009 in order to re-start the project.

A Customer Facility Charge (CFC) added to each car rental will pay for virtually the entire cost of the project, with the additional non-CFC costs covered through non-aeronautical revenue funds. A $4 per transaction day CFC started in February 2006. The CFC was increased to $5 per transaction day in July 2008. When the facility opens in spring 2012, the CFC is expected to be about $6, which is comparable to current major airports with consolidated rental facilities.


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Fishing industry still strong and vital

In 2003, fishing and fishing-related jobs on Port of Seattle properties employed 11,836 people, indicating the maritime and commercial fishing industry is as vital to Seattle’s economy as it is to its heritage.

According to the recently released “2003 Economic Impact Report of the Port of Seattle Seaport,” the average annual income for commercial fishing industry jobs tied to Port properties was about $72,000. Fishing activities based at Port facilities generate more than $846 million locally in salaries and wages, more than $83 million in state and local taxes, and more than $113 million in local purchases.

These figures also include related activities at the Maritime Industrial Center near Fishermen’s Terminal and Piers 90 and 91, which serve the large catcher-processor fleets and the cold storage facilities used for the freezing and processing of the catch.

Over the past decade the Port has invested more than $111 million in capital improvements to these three facilities. The Port continues to make progress on major upgrades at Fishermen’s Terminal, including phase one of the south seawall replacement. The remainder of the seawall will be rebuilt by 2005. Improvements such as these benefit Seattle’s commercial fishermen who use the facilities to moor, repair and outfit their boats.

Fishermen's Terminal

Set on Seattle’s Ship Canal, which links Lake Washington to Puget Sound, Fishermen’s Terminal has been the homeport for the North Pacific Fishing fleet for more than 90 years. Fishermen’s Terminal provides moorage for more 700 commercial fishing and workboats. It has 2,500 feet of lineal moorage and 371 individual slips. The facility is also the center of a thriving commercial district with shops, restaurants, banks, marine brokerage houses and more.

The freshest fish in Seattle is available at Fishermen’s Terminal. Consumers can buy fish directly off the boat or from Wild Salmon seafood market, which offers a wide range of seafood as well as products and services to help make the most of the ocean’s bounty.

The Fishermen’s Memorial statue, which honors those who have lost their lives plying the seas, has been temporarily relocated to accommodate construction. By the time the docks are reconfigured to accommodate the changing vessel sizes, the electrical systems are improved and the uplands repaved, Fishermen’s Terminal still will be a top rate facility with the Memorial statue back in its original spot.

At Terminal 91, the dock replacement program has created a safer and more effective working environment for members of the commercial fishing fleet as well as the truckers who bring provisions to these ocean going vessels. And replacement of creosote coated wooden pilings and pier decking with concrete makes the water and soil surrounding the piers more hospitable to fish and other marine life.

Public activities that take place at or near Port docks in the north end of Seattle include Seafair Fleet Week and Fishermen’s Fall Festival. Every year during Seafair the Port hosts the U.S. Navy which opens several ships for public tours. This great tradition highlights the strong naval and maritime heritage of the Pacific Northwest.

And Fishermen’s Fall Festival, an annual daylong event at Fishermen’s Terminal, celebrates commercial fishing and all of the people who contribute to that industry. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Fishermen’s Memorial Committee, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to the families of loved ones who perish at sea.