By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

In a Port of Brookings Harbor commissioners meeting Tuesday, attended by two Harbor Sanitary District (HSD) board members and its manager, port commissioners acted on sewer and drain system issues and voted to hold a board-to-board meeting with HSD to resolve issues between the two bodies.

The port board was addressing sand intrusion that occurs in its RV park restrooms, a problem vexing the port and HSD for more than two years.

Port officials and HSD staff agree beach sand enters the sewage system at the port through floor drains at the RV park restrooms, and HSD officials have reported problems caused by the sand including damaged impellers in pumps and clogged pipes.

The two governing bodies had been back and forth with HSD demanding action and threatening to disconnect the port from its drains and the port asking for extensions and expressing frustration at the lack of details in HSD demands.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Port Commissioner Ken Range asked port staff why they had not hired an engineer to survey the restrooms and propose solutions as he and other board members had requested.

“We authorized having an engineer look at this two months ago,” Range said, “and we have no answers.”

Commissioner Richard Heap added, “This doesn’t seem that difficult to me. “When are we going to get an engineer in here to design a solution?”

Interim Port Manager Kathy Lindley Hall said she could do so when she found one who would come for $1,000.

Port commissioners agreed to allow staff to engage an engineer at a cost not to exceed $5,000.

Harbormaster Travis Webster said he would attempt to get an engineer on site within two weeks.

Webster then asked for guidance on how commissioners wanted port staff to deal with the problem in the short term.

Heap suggested taking the restrooms off-line for the winter and alluded to his desire to bulldoze them, while Range asked to keep them open at least until they hear from an engineer.

The board requested the engineer explore ways to address the immediate, sand problem, suggest a remodel of the restrooms or create a new design for the building in which the doors would be relocated to the other side of the building — away from the surf which drives sand into the building — and the walls and floors be sealed.

The board agreed to keep the restrooms open until it received an engineer’s report and instructed Hall to set up a board-to-board meeting with the HSD board as soon as possible.

The requested board-to-board meeting is set for 3 p.m. Monday in the HSD conference room.

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