Harbor yet to budget remaining funds

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By Hilary Corrigan

Triplicate staff writer

Crescent City Harbor District commissioners could spend more than $75,000 expected in extra income next year on much-needed tools for outdated maintenance projects such as replacing sidewalks.

Or they could pay off $800,000 in loans for old projects. Or they could fund an effort to remove old, abandoned vessels.

They will continue deciding at a July 17 meeting. But on Monday, commissioners revised a preliminary 2007-08 budget that sets income at just over $1 million.

That includes more than $430,000 expected from rents and concessions, $320,000 from boat slip rentals and $75,000 from a new poundage fee that hoist companies must pay.

Budgeted expenses total about $1.2 million. That includes nearly $660,000 in payroll with a recent raise for harbor staff. The harbor expects about $105,000 in utility costs, a $5,000 increase from the past year.

An extra $280,000 expected in Del Norte County property tax income and more than $7,500 in interest on about $400,000 in reserve funds would make up the difference between expenses and income. That leaves more than $75,000 in extra money for commissioners to use.

Commissioners discussed harbor reconstruction as well, following last year's tidal surge that wiped out docks. Harbormaster Richard Young has sought $9.7 million from the Office of Emergency Services. The state agency has asked the harbor for a report justifying that expense.

Commissioner Mario Deiro expects the rebuilding project to replace long-overdue repairs.

andquot;The tsunami's probably the best thing that's ever happened to this harbor district,andquot; Deiro said. andquot;I've been here five years and this place is a disaster.andquot;

Commissioners adopted a preliminary budget in early June and have worked on revising it. They must approve a final one by Aug. 1 and anticipate doing so at a July 17 meeting. Also at that meeting, the board will review and consider raising fees for various services, including moorage rates and the use of a public hoist and crane.

Reach Hilary Corrigan at hcorrigan@triplicate.com .

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