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MAJOR PROJECTS INCLUDED IN PORT BUDGET

By JEFF ST. PETER

The Port of Brookings Harbor Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $5,122,219 budget Tuesday, which includes another major port upgrade.

The fiscal year 2001-02 budget was passed with little fanfare and no comment from those in attendance at the meeting.

The largest portion of the budget $3,265,105 is dedicated to the ports capital project fund.

Port Manager Russ Crabtree said the largest source of funding for the projects could come from a Special Public Work Fund Capital Improvement Project application through the Oregon Community and Economic Development Department.

Well turn in our application on July 2, he said. We are seeking funding in the amount of $2,039,000 for next year.

Additionally, Crabtree said the port will seek $500,000 in federal grant funds and an additional $700,000 in state grants.

In fiscal year 2000-01, the port completed $3.2 million in improvement projects, according to Crabtree. A replacement project for Boat Basin I (Sports Basin) came in at $2.5 million, while an improvement project in Basin II cost $700,000. The majority of the funds in Basin II were used for an electrical upgrade.

The boat basin projects were a feather in the cap of the port, Crabtree said. MSS Engineering of Corvallis estimated it would cost us $3.5 million for the work in Boat Basin I only. We did both for less.

Crabtree said last years funds came from some of the same resources as will be utilized for the coming years projects, including:

$2 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Fund.

$900,000 from the Oregon Community and Economic Development Department.

$150,000 from the U.S. Forest Service.

$118,000 from the Oregon State Marine Board.

$110,000 from the Rural Investment Board.

For the coming year, the single biggest project for the port will be the construction of a new retail/commercial facility, which will be located adjacent to Lower Harbor Road, southeast of the present port business mall.

The 12,000 square feet of retail/commercial space will cost $1,639,007, which includes a parking and staging area, Crabtree said. He said there will be two buildings, each approximately equal in size, and will together host seven or eight tenants.

As of Thursday afternoon, 27 potential tenants were already on a waiting list for the new facility. Things will happen quickly, once the funding is approved.

We will break ground as soon as possible, Crabtree said. There is the potential that we will have businesses open in it by next spring.

Another major project in the more than $3.2 million capital project budget will be a $300,000 surge suppression project, according to Crabtree.

The surge coming through the channel from the Chetco River to the boat basins causes damage to personal and port property, he said. We will move the entrance from the Chetco River from across from the Coast Guard station, 80-100 feet northeast up the river and sports basin.

Crabtree said another important project will be the construction of a new marine fueling facility near the mouth of the transient dock. At a cost of $391,250, the new fueling station will have a 20,000 gallon storage capacity 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 8,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline. He said that project would begin soon.

It should take us about six months to build and we hope to have it operating by the end of the year, Crabtree said. Initially, the port will operate the station, but we will entertain private interest to manage it by contract.

The fueling dock will remain port owned either way.

Sporthaven Beach and Beachfront RV Park will be the subjects of an improvement project with a total projected cost of $337,000, according to Crabtree.

Most of the project will be implemented between the beach and front row of RV spaces.

One hundred paved parking spaces for beach visitors will be put in with 1,000 lineal feet of sidewalk. Handicap access to the beach will be provided via gangways. Curbing and gutters will be placed along an improved two-lane road with speed bumps.

Additionally, a cold storage unit for commercial fisherman will be built adjacent to Harbor Ice for a cost of $336,585.

The commissioners also discussed a lighting project being jointly planned by the port, City of Brookings and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the Chetco bridge. Crabtree told the board members that the project, now two years in development, had not been forgotten.

We havent lost sight of the need for proper lighting on the bridge, he said. ODOT wants to do an engineering study and has proposed the city and port help pay the $5,000 cost.

We are suggesting the cost be split three ways between all three of us, and that it be conditional that we will only pay if the study produces positive results and the project moves forward.

We need to take care of this safety issue for pedestrian traffic across the bridge.

The commissioners approved the conditional payment of the ports portion of the engineering study.

The Vietnam Veterans Association was the recipient of a $500 contribution from the port board. The money is annually donated for the veteran organizations annual Fourth of July fireworks display at Sporthaven Beach.

The Port of Brookings Harbor Board of Commissioners will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. in the Harbor Sanitary District conference room at the port.

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