RAYMOND — The Port of Willapa Harbor is closing in on its $1.9 million funding goal for phase one of the Tokeland Marina redevelopment project on the north side of Willapa Bay.
The biggest expense of the project is replacing a 315-foot floating dock that acts as a breakwater. Port manager Rebecca Chaffee said the dock is not safe any more and hasn’t been used for a while.
The port is proposing to use it as transient moorage. It would be a heavy concrete float with galvanized pilings and it would be ADA accessible, Chaffee said.
“And the cost just for that is in the neighborhood of $600,000 for that one float,” she said. “That’s why it is so critical for us to get help…. Marina facilities are really expensive. Getting that dock replaced was really the driving force.”
The plan includes landscaping, parking, lighting, site improvements, public restrooms, a marina office and a storage area. It also includes a new septic system.
Red Tag Special
The commercial pier has been red-tagged by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, Chaffee said. It is restricted to pedestrian use only. Plans call for the building and pier to be replaced with a smaller steel structure with a concrete deck that will accommodate a hoist and truck and forklift traffic.
An old café that has been boarded up will be razed to make way for a seafood and local market. Chaffee said. It will include a commercial kitchen for entrepreneurs to make food items for sale.
While the emphasis of the market will be food, Chaffee said it may also include craft items.
“So that’s the commercial project. … We’re going to get rid of all that deteriorated pier, put one small pier that’s big enough to support truck traffic and forklift traffic and then replace that junker café building with a new seafood market.”
Transient boaters welcome
Fishing draws many transient boaters to the Tokeland Marina, Chaffee said. For example, in just one week in August last year, the port got 350 boat launches, “which have to launch and retrieve every day, so if we had transient moorage, we could fill it up.”
Most of the demand for transient moorage is for smaller boats, 25 feet and under, although there is some demand for larger boats.
Phase one includes a grant of nearly $670,000 from the state Recreation and Conservation Office, Chaffee said. However, it has not been finalized.
“It’s not a sure thing until the state adopts a budget,” she said.
Other sources of funding include the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program, the local option sales tax and federal recreation tax.
The port has not pulled permits for the projects yet, Chaffee said, but officials are ready to start.
“If everything falls into place the way we think it will, we will (start work).”
The transient dock/breakwater will be fabricated off-site probably in the winter and transported to the marina next summer.