By Matthew Hochkammer

Pilot Staff Writer

Port of Brookings-Harbor Commissioners (POBH), Port Manager Gary Dehlinger informed the board Tuesday that the Green Building tested negative for asbestos and a demolition permit was secured through Curry County.

Additionally, Dehlinger proffered up the idea of having a salvage crew go through the building to remove doors and windows for resale or for port use, to which the board agreed.

Dehlinger also informed the commissioners of his talks with Brookings Fire Chief Jim Watson about the educational value of conducting a “Burn to Learn” event.

Burn to learn involves intentionally setting fire to a structure under fire department supervision and then allowing firefighters to practice rescue scenarios.

The Green Building, also known as the Grey Ghost, has been sitting unused since its construction in 2003. Since then, the port has been making monthly payments of about $2,008 on a loan taken out to cover construction costs.

Originally, the building was intended to be the jewel of the port’s commercial hub. According to a report by Eagle Two Development in 2011, the original permit was issued for the shell of the building only and did not include any interior improvements.

In April, port commissioners voted to instruct port staff to move forward with removing the Green Building.

Some members of the public present at the meeting raised concerns about the environmental repercussions of the smoke coming from the burning building. Chairman Roy Davis assured the public that because the potential burn would not occur until the fall due to the current fire season, there would be plenty of time to work with the public and the fire department to remedy such concerns.

Chetco River Channel

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began dredging on the Chetco Wednesday. The dredging is expected to continue for the next two weeks. According to Dehlinger, the Yaquina, a hopper dredge ship, is expected to work at the mouth of the Chetco as well as the Rogue and the Port of Port Orford over the next couple of weeks.

“They don’t really give us a schedule,” said Dehlinger, “but they generally use our port (the Port of Brookings-Harbor) as a base camp.”

Additionally, channel marker number 9 which is maintained by the US Coast Guard, located on the north side of the Chetco River channel, has been righted once again.

In other news

Commissioners voted to clarify its liveaboard policy allowing liveaboards as long as they are vessels able to leave the port under their own power, paying a moorage fee as well as an additional $75 per person living on the boat per month. Liveaboards are vessels which are defined as resided in for 72 hours over a seven-day period and must be registered with the Port office.

Port staff is currently working on removing blind spots on Lower Harbor Road by removing overgrown shrubbery. Staff will also begin work on repainting the exterior of retail space which is expected to last at least a month.