Port 2 purchases boat
September 28, 2023
The Wahkiakum County Port 2 Board of Commissioners talked about potential funding, events, and purchased a boat at their September meeting last week.
Port 2 Manager Sam Shogren proposed that the port purchase an 18 foot wooden work skiff, based on a historical boat design by the Danielsen family of Puget Island. Wide and stable, with a flat bottom, the boat was restored in 2020 by Welcome Slough Boatworks and by members of the local Traditional Small Craft Association, of which Port Commissioner Allen Bennett is a member.
The skiff included a motor and trailer and would cost the port $2,000. Shogren reasoned that the boat would allow them to check on Coffee Pot Island and their other properties.
Though the price was low enough that the port manager could make the purchase without the board’s approval, Shogren said he was on the National board for the Traditional Small Craft Association and thought it would be appropriate to get their okay.
“It’s a good price,” Commissioner Austin Burkhalter said. He and Commissioner Brian O’Connor agreed it would be a good investment.
Burkhalter and O’Connor voted to approve the purchase of the boat, and Bennett abstained.
“That was sort of an unexpected thing,” O’Connor said. “Now we are owners of a boat.”
Assistant Manager Terina Davis said things were slowing down at Vista Park and staff were starting to work on projects around the property.
She said that Port 2 was awarded a Marine Resources Committee grant that would be used to add safety and security lighting at Svensen Park and bilingual signs to inform swimmers of the dangers on the beach.
Shogren said that he and County Commissioner Gene Strong learned about a pilot project that will fund $10 million to 20 small, rural projects across the country in a meeting with a representative from the Army Corps of Engineers.
“Gene is anxious to see the county put in proposals for deepening Deep River and Grays Bay for navigation and flood control,” Shogren said. He planned to work on an application for the Skamokawa area, which he said was losing income because of how shallow Skamokawa Creek has gotten.
“As we know, no other development can happen in the Skamokawa area until the water and sewer district does more work on their systems,” Shogren said.
He planned to share information with them, if they wanted to apply for a grant that might make it possible to expand their operations.
“Twenty [projects] across the country, that’s going to be steep competition,” Shogren said.
Applications are due in late October.
They talked about meetings with Representative Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and her staff, as well as a representative from Senator Patty Murray’s office about finding funding for Port 2 projects.
In other news, Shogren said the port has an opportunity to take over an event that has been going on for 18 years, the South Sound Traditional Inuit Kayak Symposium. The event is internationally known, he said, and usually takes place in June, with 100-125 people participating every year.
Shogren has been involved in organizing the event in the past and said they were looking for a new home.
“It’s a boost to the economy,” Bennett said. “We’ll see what happens. It’s not something you would advertise, but it is something that would bring people in, spending money in our community.”