Decision Delayed on Seattle Rental Center

The Port of Seattle Commission recently voted to delay a decision on approving a $413 million rental car center near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and maintain a moratorium on new construction until the Port enacts more reforms in response to a scathing state audit, Seattle Times.

The delay might last several weeks. But commissioners decided unanimously to defer three projects on their agenda, including the rental car center, the biggest project they expect to consider this year.

Port staff members and rental car companies had asked commissioners to approve the overall rental car plan and release $5 million to prepare the project site.

“We will not make decisions here and there that circumvent the purpose of the moratorium. We will stop spending until we understand what we're spending on," said Commissioner Gael Tarleton.

According to the Seattle Times, several commissioners said they expect to lift the moratorium soon, after better defining what it will take to do so. Commissioners are concerned about the project's estimated cost, up almost $100 million, or nearly 30 percent, over the last year.

Rental-car customers would pay the project’s tab through a $4-per-day fee, which has been collected since February 2006. The Port has raised $39 million from those fees and spent $25 million designing the facility and purchasing property.

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