By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

Representatives from Pacific Choice are in town examining harbor property in preparation for expanding its business in Crescent City.

Tim Horgan, the chief operating officer in charge of processing for Pacific Choice, spent yesterday afternoon weighing the possibilities as he toured the Eureka Fisheries plant at the harbor.

Its very sad, Horgan said, as he walked through the now dark and empty fish processing plant. This was somebodys dream at one time. Now look at it.

Eureka Fisheries, which had been operating in Crescent Citys harbor, announced in July it would be suspending the purchase of seafood for a month while it reconsidered its future operations.

During that time, Pacific Choice expressed an interest in acquiring some of Eureka Fisheries plants in various locations especially Crescent City.

This location seems to be the one were furthest down the road on, Horgan said. Weve been talking in general about some other assets (of Eureka Fisheries), but there is nothing specific at this time.

After discussing the possibility of Pacific Choice assuming the Eureka Fisheries lease at the harbor, which is $4,729.50 per month for the processing plant and the hoist, according to Harbor District records, Commissioner Bev Noll said Pacific Choices presence would be welcomed.

This is a scary time, she told Horgan. Its a very, very scary time right now.

As Horgan toured the plant, he said he was pleasantly surprised by the size of it, but added he was concerned about possible sanitation problems.

As far as moving in and beginning processing tomorrow, its not going to happen, he said.

Eureka Fisheries had employed around 40 people at the harbor, depending on the season, according to John Kosack, administration manager of Eureka Fisheries.

Horgan said he didnt know how many employees Pacific Choice would hire for the plant should they assume the lease, but said he looked forward to expanding the companys operations here.

We are excited about taking a larger role in the area, Horgan said. Crescent City has a great fleet.

General Manager Rick Harris is scheduled to be in town on Monday to meet with a committee of harbor commissioners to negotiate the terms of assuming the lease.

Pacific Choice is a subsidiary of Pacific Seafood in Portland, Ore. Pacific Seafood employs 1,500 people full-time, according to Horgan.