Harbor checks road ownership

April 29, 2003 12:00 am

By Jennifer Henion

Triplicate staff writer

After recently finishing a drainage repair job on a road that has flooded every winter for several years, the Crescent City Harbor District is wondering who has ownership and responsibility over harbor roads.

A special meeting of the Harbor District board convened at 3 p.m., Monday to discuss the issue.

"The question is whether Del Norte County or the harbor has jurisdiction over the roads and when were some of the roads turned over to the District," said Harbor Commissioner Mario Deiro.

The county owns the part of Anchor Way between Highway 101 and Starfish Way. The county also owns Citizens Dock Road between Highway 101 and the beginning of the unloading dock, according to county records.

All of the other roads are the responsibility of the harbor. Many of the other roads, including Starfish the extension of Anchor Way were created by the harbor district.

"There were just the two ways for fishermen to get to their boats. The inner boat basin didn't even exist. Fishermen had to carry dories in the back of their trucks so they could row out to their boats," said Ernie Perry, director of Del Norte County's Community Development Department.

Before hiring contractor Hemingson Construction to repair the drain and pavement at the corner of Starfish and Anchor ways, the harbor board didn't know the county owned Anchor Way and Citizens Dock.

"We believed the roads belonged to the harbor because the county hadn't done any maintenance on them for 30 years," Deiro said.

Perry said the county has maintained the two roads and the county laid down a plan last week to resurface Citizens Dock Road in the near future.

As the drainage repair was getting finished, the county notified the harbor it needed an encroachment permit to work on county roads.

The new insight put a stop to a planned harbor project to install a speed bump on Citizens Dock.

Now that the work on the drain is finished, Perry said the harbor won't need to get a permit. He said the harbor board simply had to decide whether it wanted the county to maintain the new drain or to do it themselves.