Dredging delay causing frustration

May 15, 2001 12:00 am
A fishing boat steers its way into Crescent Citys harbor. Recent delays in dredging are causing problems for some local businesses, as the harbor fills in with silt and makes navigation in some areas difficult for big boats. (The Daily Triplicate /Stephen Merrill Corley).
A fishing boat steers its way into Crescent Citys harbor. Recent delays in dredging are causing problems for some local businesses, as the harbor fills in with silt and makes navigation in some areas difficult for big boats. (The Daily Triplicate /Stephen Merrill Corley).

By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

The slow process of dredging Crescent Citys harbor is fomenting discontented tenants as well as some threats.

Everybodys frustrated, said Harbormaster Rich Taylor. I was basically told (by the Board of Harbor Commissioners) that if something doesnt happen by the end of May that I need to go down to the Corps of Engineers and rattle some cages.

The dredging permit from the Corps, the last hurdle in a long process, has stalled in the Corps regulatory process, according to the harbors dredging contractor Richard Parsons.

I appreciate the Harbor Districts impatience with the Corps regulatory process in this matter and I assure you that the districts impatience is exceeded only by my outrage, Parsons wrote in a letter to the commission.

Parsons was granted a month extension from the commission last week to secure the permit from the Corps.

One unidentified harbor business has threatened to cancel its lease because of the dredging impasse. That information was passed along to the Corps in the hope it will expedite the process.

Former commissioner Chris Van Hook, owner of Abalone International, said the lack of dredging has had an impact on his business as well.

Weve had 24 inches of accumulated silt since the El Nino of 1998, Van Hook said. So weve lost 24 inches of depth under our farm. It has increased the amount of silt in our cages.

There will be a special meeting of the Board of Harbor Commissioners tonight at 6:30 p.m. to address the 2001-2002 fiscal budget.