Crescent City Harbor commissioners were receptive to putting a lighted Christmas tree on a floating dock but staff said Tuesday the endeavor would likely be too expensive.
This prompted elected officials to brainstorm less costly ways the port could get into the holiday spirit.
Among some of the ideas, using the old Tally Ho dock near the Chart Room as a platform for a lighted tree, putting a Christmas tree on the ice house owned by Pacific Seafoods and decorations on the pier at Citizens Dock.
Commissioner Brian Stone called for a two-member committee to continue brainstorming ideas and his colleague Ron Phillips suggested getting crab fishermen involved. The Crescent City Harbor Commission decided to table its discussion to “find something workable that’s not so expensive for the harbor.”
The idea of putting a lighted Christmas tree on a floating dock came from Ken Cowan, who manages North Coast Grill. At the Harbor Commission’s Sept. 4 meeting, Cowan said he got the idea for the trees from growing up in Long Beach. Cowan suggested Crescent City Harbor could put the tree somewhere in its outer boat basin.
“We have plenty of floats around,” he said. “We would just do one this year and if it all works out we’ll incur cost for lights and building if you guys find me an old float. Need harbor’s help to go anchor it out there and figure out how to electrify (it).”
On Tuesday, however, Deputy Harbormaster Lane Tavasci said staff has determined that the docks aren’t stable enough to be used for a Christmas tree. Tavasci said the harbor’s electrician has also stated that lighting the tree would require an underwater conduit.
Tavasci noted after speaking with Cowan, the idea was to take the decoration down when the Holidays were over. Tavasci estimated that providing electricity to the decorations on the floating docks would cost $1,000 and obtaining the equipment to set it up would cost between $5,000 and $10,000. Such equipment would have to come from the Sacramento or Redding areas, he said.
“Our forklifts and mobile cranes are not strong enough to lift the docks for any period of time and extend it that far out,” Tavasci told commissioners Tuesday. “Our skiff, the docks would probably end up sinking the skiff and whoever’s on there with it. We are kind of looking at alternatives, what we could do that would be relatively close to having, not a tree on the water, as much as potentially moving the site to where the seal dock is now.”
Having a Christmas tree on the old Tally Ho dock near the Chart Room would save on electricity, since there’s power to the dock already, Tavasci said. He also noted harbor staff would have to come up with a barrier or another method of keeping the sea lions off of the dock.
“I’m hoping that the commission will look at this and try to say we want to take care of your wishes, which is for Ken (Cowan) at North Coast Ocean Sports and Pat (Rideout) at the Chart Room, but I think it’s going to be too expensive for the harbor to afford at this point in time.”
Stone suggested researching the possibility of putting a Christmas tree on top of an ice house owned by Pacific Choice Seafoods. He also suggested getting boat owners into the holiday spirit by encouraging them to decorate their boats with lights.
Phillips, noting that Dungeness crab season typically starts in December, suggested incorporating crab pots into a Christmas theme.
“If we had 15 or 20 that you could stack up, you could put a Christmas tree on top of it,” he said.
Phillips said the commission has been encouraging crab fishermen and other tenants at the harbor to get into the Christmas spirit.
“We had people, last year, who put lights up because crab season got moved into January,” he said.
In other matters, Tavasci said Pacific Power is doing a final review of the harbor’s plans to install a 1.5 megawatt solar plant. The utility is deciding if they have to change a transformer, Tavasci said.
Tavasci said a Pacific Power representative will do a site visit on Friday and is expected to complete their review of the solar project in a week to two weeks.
Reach Jessica Cejnar at firstname.lastname@example.org .