On any lunch hour, Scuttlebutt Brewing along the Everett waterfront is filled with uniforms, like the three Navy officers recently enjoying a fish-and-chips lunch. The officers, in khakis...
On any lunch hour, Scuttlebutt Brewing along the Everett waterfront is filled with uniforms, like the three Navy officers recently enjoying a fish-and-chips lunch.
The officers, in khakis and leather jackets, declined to be identified because they’re prohibited from officially discussing matters related to Naval Station Everett, but they acknowledged that they eat at Scuttlebutt two or three times a month, usually spending $10 or more each. That puts nearly $100 a month into the brewery’s cash register.
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Multiply such transactions by thousands of instances and you’re talking about a dollar figure that comes to about $400 million a year.
There’s a lot more to it than fish and chips, but Scuttlebutt is one business specifically identified in a new report as benefiting from Naval Station Everett.
The report was issued this month in conjunction with a federal process called Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), in which the military periodically closes some installations.
The latest BRAC process began with a Department of Defense announcement in February that 25 percent of U.S. military bases could be closed. Earlier BRAC procedures, dating to 1988, led to the closure of 97 major installations, including the Sand Point naval station in Seattle.
The report was prepared for Everett by BST Associates of Bothell. It is titled “Economic Impact of Naval Station Everett on Snohomish County,” but its implications go far beyond that.
“It’s beyond Snohomish County,” said Pat McClain, Everett’s governmental-
affairs director. “An example is Todd Shipyards in Seattle [where Navy ships are sometimes dry-docked]. You can’t just take Snohomish County and draw a line around it.”
The report is part of a process that could result in a recommendation in November 2005 to keep Naval Station Everett open or to close it.
The Navy base is part of a history that dates to 21 years ago, McClain said, and it has become an important part of the regional economy, particularly Everett’s.
“It was viewed by the city fathers as a stabilizing influence in a cyclical economy,” said McClain, explaining that in 1983, when the Navy base’s possible construction was first announced, Everett was enduring the collapse of the timber industry and the ups and downs of the aerospace business.
The saying then, McClain recalled of the pre-base days, was that in a recession, Everett would be “the first to go down and the last to get up.”
The new economic report describes how the Navy base has become a major part of the economy, a potential argument for why it should be kept open. Of course, military locales all over the country will make similar arguments.
The 29-page report examines the situation in Everett with elaborate columns of numbers and descriptions, and comes to several central conclusions:
Naval Station Everett is the second-largest employer in Snohomish County, trailing only Boeing.
The Navy base employs 6,310 people, including 4,517 county residents. Boeing’s Snohomish County work force is put at 17,000.
The base’s annual payroll is $159.1 million and its average annual salary $35,000. The number of direct and indirect jobs associated with the station is more than 10,000 in Snohomish County and nearly 12,000 statewide. The total net direct impact, including active and retired naval personnel associated with Naval Station Everett, is estimated at $431 million in Snohomish County alone.
Aside from such major conclusions, the report presents a variety of individual snapshots.
One example notes that living costs in San Diego are 202 percent of living costs here, presumably an argument to keep personnel here.
The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln is like a medium-size city, with 30,000 light fixtures and 1,900 telephones.
The Snohomish County Public Utility District received $435,000 in payments from the Department of Defense in 2002, and Verizon got $263,000 for its telecommunications services.
The report includes a summary of all 2002 Department of Defense contracts with Snohomish County companies, including $462,000 awarded to Xantrex Technology of Arlington for nonrotating electrical converters and $698,597 awarded to Simrad of Lynnwood for flight instruments. AAA Monroe Rock of the Snohomish area got $396 for mineral construction materials.
The 2002 total came to $77.5 million, according to the report.
Next scheduled events in the process include President Bush nominating BRAC commissioners in March, the secretary of defense making recommendations to the commission and to Congress in May, the commission reporting to the president in September and Bush making base-realignment recommendations to Congress by Nov. 7.
Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or email@example.com