The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Port 1 commission considers future growth


August 17, 2017

Wahkiakum County Port 1 commissioners gathered for their August meeting last Thursday and discussed several items that were on the agenda.

Commissioner Bob Kizziar suggested that they schedule a workshop to discuss future port growth and goals, according to Port Manager Jackie Lea. A date has not been set.

With the final permit on the way, and the window for dredging opening in November, commissioners discussed what to do after they begin to fill in their portion of the land around the old sewer lagoons with dredge spoils. They authorized Lea to look for a planning grant for an RV park.

A recent visit to the marina during Bald Eagle Day prompted a discussion about parking and campsites. One of the commissioners had been told not to park in two different places by a camper who claimed both the empty spots, Lea said.

“The longer they stay,” she said of some of the campers, “the more they seem to take possession. I guess we’re going to have to make it really clear how big their space actually is.”

Eventually the port plans to have each of the campsites clearly marked.

Signs posted at the launch ramp have not stopped some boaters from powering on, which causes damage to the ramp, and potential damage to the vehicles that use it. Commissioners talked about closing the middle lane, adding cameras and an alarm, or increasing fines in an ongoing effort to stop the practice.

Though no decisions were made, they also discussed raising the price of the annual launch, Lea said, in order to save money for an expensive solution: installing a wing dam in order to construct an 80 foot concrete launch ramp.

Guy Glenn, a member of the Washington Public Ports Association marina committee and the manager for the Port of Ilwaco, had sent an email asking commissioners to think about what kind of issues they wanted addressed in the 2018 WPPA legislative session.

Port 1 commissioners were especially concerned about two issues, Lea said: Permitting costs and derelict vessels that were being dropped off at marinas by the Coast Guard.

“They only give you 10 years on your permit for dredging,” Lea said. “In 10 years, you’ve got to dump another $88,000 to get a new permit, just to dredge.”

As for derelict vessels, when boaters get into trouble, the Coast Guard is supposed to drop them off, but not the boat. According to Lea, that hasn’t stopped them. Marinas are getting stuck with the boats, which causes a lot of problems, financially and otherwise.


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