Port 1 OKs abandoned boat sale, considers fish cleaning station quotes

 

February 16, 2023

Diana Zimmerman

Brian Fleming landed a purring Cessna 195 on the Columbia River before taxiing into the Elochoman Slough Marina on Saturday. He and a friend were in search of lunch, and Cathlamet, one of Fleming's favorite places, is one of the only spots in the Lower Columbia where he can drop in for a bite to eat.

Last Thursday, Wahkiakum County Port 1 Commissioners authorized the sale of an abandoned vessel at their meeting, learned about upgrades at the marina as they prepare for a busy fishing season, and authorized the manager to make a decision regarding bids for a fish cleaning station.

The Windigo, a Homebuilt Buchan 37 foot sailboat, currently moored in the Elochoman Slough Marina, is up for sale. Port Manager Todd Souvenir explained that the vessel was considered abandoned after the owner failed to pay mooring charges and did not respond to a registered letter sent 90 days earlier. As of January 15, he said, the port owned the vessel and with the approval of the resolution presented to commissioners, a notice of the sale would go in The Wahkiakum County Eagle, and the port would accept sealed bids for the sailboat until 1 p.m. on March 3.

Commissioners James Sorensen and Scott Anderson approved the resolution. Commissioner Brett Deaton was not in attendance.

Souvenir said that with all the improvements the port is making along the Riverview and dike sections and the new brewery nearing opening, he had reached out to a few companies for bids to fabricate a new fish cleaning table, which the port plans to move away from the brewery to the dike.

He had only one bid to present at the meeting, a $9,500 bid from RD Olson manufacturing.

"I personally really like the design," Souvenir said. He explained that it was a 16 foot table with a two foot back splash and a hole in the center that drains to a commercial box. The port would be responsible for disposing of fish carcasses deposited in the box, meaning they would no longer be tossed along the bank.

"If we could keep that debris out of the water at the river's edge, it would cut down on the smell and not attract sea lions to the area," Souvenir said.

The port received a much lower $5,000 bid from another company that day, Souvenir said. Western Fabrication of Astoria submitted a bid but the port manager said he had not received a drawing or many details. He told the commissioners what he did know, that the proposed table was 16 feet wide with a 21 inch back splash, and that the table depth was a little bit less than the one designed by RD Olson, and did not include a cutting board, which he said was in the other bid.

Anderson asked about delivery dates. Would they get here before springer season, he wondered.

Diana Zimmerman

Port 1 Maintenance Manager Jerry Nakonsky and another port employee, Hans Dykstra, were busy attaching new fingers to C Dock while the sun was shining on Friday.

When Souvenir said that RD Olson could get it to them quickly, but the other bidder had not responded with a date, Anderson suggested that they hold the meeting over until they had all the information. Counsel Tim Hanigan suggested commissioners give the manager the authority to accept the bid, which Anderson and Sorensen subsequently authorized him to do.

Souvenir had not made a decision as of Tuesday morning.

A sounding of the marina was recently completed, and Souvenir said that the depths have held.

"We've had very little silting in from our previous dredging in 2018 and 2019," he said. "Everything seems to be holding inside and outside the marina in the channel so everything looks good from that standpoint."

The port staff is getting ready for springer season and have been outside every day working on the C Dock replacement, which Souvenir said was going smoothly, and along with the work on Riverview and the dike.

"We are booked from one end of the marina to the other," Souvenir said. "We have some diehards who come in early and start fishing and will be here soon."

 

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