As Crescent City Harbor commissioners wait to find out if a citizens initiative meant to increase revenue for the port will be on the November ballot, they asked their harbormaster for a better idea of needed repairs and how much they would cost.
According to a list prepared by Crescent City Harbor District staff, the port must make a total of about $4.1 million in needed repairs to Citizens Dock, Whaler Island Groin and the marina.
Harbormaster Charlie Helms said Tuesday he is pursuing grant funding through the Economic Development Authority to pay for the biological assessments and construction for a seawall repair at Citizens Dock.
Major repairs to Citizens Dock include the seawall at an estimated $2.3 million; repair or replacing the fender piles at an estimated $1.4 million; repairs to the electrical system underneath the dock at an estimated $75,000; and repairing the dock’s waterlines at an estimated $100,000, according to the harbor’s staff report.
Water lines at the marina need to be repaired at an estimated cost of $75,000, according to the staff report. And the Whaler Island groin seawall needs about $150,000 in repairs, according to the staff report.
The Anchor Way seawall from the Chart Room to Whaler Inlet also needs repairs, however according to the harbor district’s staff report, that is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Deputy Harbormaster Lane Tavasci told commissioners the dollar figures included in the staff report were estimates.
“They could be higher, hopefully it’ll be lower,” Tavasci said.
According to Tavasci, the harbor district has replaced light fixtures at the southern end of the dock with LED lights, but conduits housing its electrical system need repairs. The electrical system is in wooden troughs, he said, some of which have broken loose. In other areas the wires are in plastic conduits that are sagging, Tavasci said.
This is work that needs to be done by skiff at high tide because the electrical system is underneath Citizens Dock, Tavasci said. Or construction crews would have to break through the concrete and wood on the dock’s surface to get to the electrical system, he said.
As for Citizens Dock, Helms said a survey team inspected the dock several times and its support pilings are stable. However the fender piles need to be replaced, he said.
“To me that was one of my most pleasant surprises ever,” Helms said. “I made three trips under there... and had divers assess them, so that’s an area I do not worry about — the stability, the safety, of Citizens Dock.”
When it came to repairing the Citizens Dock seawall, Commissioner Brian Stone asked Helms how the harbor would pay for those repairs.
Helms said he had been working with the county to pursue economic development funding through a Community Development Block Grant, but is now working with the Economic Development Authority. A representative with the Economic Development Authority will visit the harbor in May, Helms said.
“They’re looking pretty favorably upon finding money for the project, but it’s a multi-step project,” he said.
The harbor is pursuing dollars that would help it pay for biological assessments and other environmental permits to repair the Citizens Dock seawall, Helms said. It will then pursue funding for the actual construction through the Economic Development Authority under the stipulation of job retention, Helms said.
As for the crumbling seawall at Whaler Island groin, Helms said the harbor district doesn’t have the cranes or equipment needed to do those repairs. Stover Engineering has done an assessment of the seawall’s integrity, he said, but that’s as far as the harbor district has gotten.
Helms noted a project to repair the Whaler Island groin seawall has to be permitted by the Army Corps of Engineers, the California Coastal Commission and the county.
The Army Corps of Engineers also built the roadway out to Whaler Island, Helms said, and the district has been asking for help to keep it from being undermined
“We pointed out to the Corps for the past two years an area that’s being undermined already,” he said. “We’ve been doing whatever we can with the Corps to say ‘You built the roadway it’s becoming undermined, help us with this.’”
In other matters, the Pirate Festival and Pirate Run hosted by the Friends of the Crescent City Harbor on April 7, raised more than $10,000, Commissioner Jim Ramsey reported. The harbor’s new nonprofit organization has raised $15,000 from both the Pirate Festival and the haunted house it held in October, Ramsey said.
Thirty-two people participated in the Pirate Run, which generated $6,000, Ramsey said. The festival had more than $6,000 in sponsors, he said.
Meanwhile, proponents of the Save the Harbor 2018 citizens initiative that, if approved, would increase the transient occupancy tax visitors to motels and hotels in the county pay by 2 percent, have collected 671 signatures, Ramsey said. They have until the end of the month to gather 704 qualified signatures for the proposed initiative to be placed on the November ballot, he said.
If approved, the initiative would also establish a 2 percent transient occupancy tax on RV spaces within the county.
Money generated by these taxes would help the harbor pay down a $5.3 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan used to rebuild the marina following the 2006 and 2011 tsunamis.
Reach Jessica Cejnar at firstname.lastname@example.org .