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Port of Hoodsport seeking state, local money for docks

The Port of Hoodsport’s efforts to satisfy the conditions of renewing the lease on the port’s dock from the state Department of Natural Resources have yielded mixed results.

Port Commissioner Cody Morris reported May 10 that he had found more than one engineering firm to receive bids on the dock pilings. He expressed optimism that this would enable the port to strive for “the best price possible.”

Morris has reached out to state Sen. Drew MacEwen, and state Reps. Dan Griffey and Travis Couture. He described several of their interactions as “really encouraging.”

Morris said, “our timeline is pretty rough” to obtain money from the Legislature near-term, and even with their assurances of at least some state financial aid, they noted the money would only become available in June 2024, at the soonest.

Morris said the legislators told him “they can absolutely secure whatever money we need for the DNR processes, possibly even engineering fees and bids for designs of what we want to do with the docks.” Meantime, Morris said the port’s best option is to pursue local grants and other sources of funding.

Morris has already contacted the Economic Development Council of Mason County with the hopes of recouping some portion of the survey that the port has already been paying for, but also recovering part of the cost of inspections that have been required by the Department of Natural Resources. Morris said he regards it a priority for the port beyond DNR’s demands, “so we can figure out what direction we want to go in” with remodeling the dock.

“So far, everyone who’s among the gatekeepers of money on the state level has been incredibly positive and really wants to help us out, so I think we’re in good shape,” Morris said.

The port’s original lease of the dock from DNR was for 30 years, but the renewal of that lease will only be 15 years.

Cailan Neeler, ports program manager for the state Department of Natural Resources, told the the Port of Hoodsport that DNR has “pretty substantial concerns” with the functionality of the dock’s pilings, so one finding both the port and DNR will be looking for from upcoming inspections will be a determination of the life expectancy of the remaining pilings.

Neeler told the port it has two years to address what the DNR believes are nonfunctioning pilings, because it was not his intention to hold up the lease signing.

All three Port of Hoodsport commissioners have expressed concerns over how their relatively modest budget is meant to cover the expenses of the lease renewal conditions, including the degrees of rigor and specifics that would be required for the inspections, but Neeler has expressed DNR’s willingness to work with the port on holdovers from the outgoing lease.

In the meantime, Port Commissioner Lori Kincannon told the Shelton-Mason County Journal that no one attended the May 13 work party to clean up the Hoodsport trail park, beyond the port commissioners, its maintenance supervisor and Northwest Land and Tree.

Regardless, the Hoodsport trail park and disc golf course’s official grand re-opening ceremony is still scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday

Author Bio

Kirk Boxleitner, Reporter

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Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald
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