Port of Willapa begins Tokeland Marina upgrade

By Mike Williams, March 5, 2015, The Daily Astorian

The Port of Willapa Harbor accepted bids for the new seafood market at the Tokeland Marina and hopes to start construction this month.

 

“Of course all the bids came in over our budget,” said Port Manager Rebecca Chaffee.

 

The board is working to trim the project, she added.

 

The project was broken down into four bids, with the foundation and framing, plumbing, electrical and the heating, venting and cooling on separate bids. Insulation and interior finishing have not been put out to bid, Chaffee said.

 

The port is acting as general contractor and may do the finish work itself.

 

The fire department used the old commercial building for a practice burn in 2014, making way for the new 2,500-square-foot market. Chaffee said Nelson Crab Seafood Market has expressed interest in moving its retail operation to the new building.

 

It will include a partial second floor for utilities and potential office and storage space.

 

The port also envisions retail space for local produce, products and arts and crafts. The building will house a commercial kitchen. Entrepreneurs who need a licensed commercial kitchen to produce products will be able to rent the kitchen from the tenant, Chaffee said.

 

The commercial building is part of the port’s plan to revitalize the Tokeland Marina.

 

The L Float, a floating dock that serves as a breakwater also needs to be replaced. It’s used for transient moorage during the summer, but it’s been closed for several years for safety reasons.

 

The port hopes to get the project out to bid and the materials ordered so work can begin in mid-June. That’s the earliest any work can take place in the water due to environmental regulations. The dock will be fabricated off-site and transported to the marina.

 

The port also hopes to replace an older section of the commercial pier It’s been red-tagged for about six years. There’s no way to replace the 50-by-100-foot section, Chaffee said, so it will be demolished.

 

A newer pier section that still serves light duty will get an addition of 20 by 50 feet. It will feature steel pilings and a concrete deck that can support the heavy loads of the crab, salmon and other vessels that use the facility.

 

The breakwater and the pier are top priority, Chaffee said.

 

“Those are the two that have failed,” she said.

 

Budget for the L Float and gangway is about $600,000, she said. The pier extension is $350,000. The permit value of the commercial building is $400,000, plus the port plans to add a public restroom and landscaping.

 

Another transient float is also high on the list, but the funding isn’t confirmed yet, she said.

 

“We’re fortunate that we’re able to get a number of grants,” she said. “Seventy to 80 percent is covered by grants, and we can use our own labor to match it.”

 

Marinas don’t tend to generate a lot of revenue, Chaffee said, but their value to the economy makes them important. Fishing vessels use the port’s marinas, and transient boaters often fill the docks in the summer, especially in August.

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