Archived Story

Maritime team addresses waterfront docks

Published 5:27pm Friday, September 6, 2013

As Washington studies what to do with its waterfront docks, the Washington Harbor District Alliance’s maritime team is weighing in on the matter. The team is on record supporting making the waterfront docks a separate department under the city’s Community and Cultural Services director, which is John Rodman.

A report on the maritime team’s goals and recommendations concerning the waterfront docks is part of the City Council’s tentative agenda for its meeting Monday.

The team recommends creating a dockmaster’s position, with that person being responsible for managing the waterfront docks. The team also recommends creating an advisory group consisting of maritime-team members to work with the city concerning efforts related to the waterfront docks.

The maritime team is not advocating fueling facilities at the waterfront docks to service boats. The team estimated it would cost $250,000 to set up a fueling station at the waterfront docks. The team noted the fueling station is not part of the Visualization and Reinvestment Strategy for the city’s downtown and harbor districts.

The team believes there is no need to increase the number of boat slips at this time because the existing boat slips are not being fully utilized.

The team wants to pursue public, private and grant funds — and necessary permits — to build a public pier at the southern foot of Market Street, which is recommended in the 2009 Visualization and Reinvestment Strategy for the city’s downtown and harbor districts.

Last month, the council decided to proceed with a trial period when it comes to making changes concerning how the waterfront docks are managed.

Establishing a separate budget for the city-owned docks is one recommendation developed by a panel composed of city officials and the chairman of the Washington Harbor District Alliance.

That recommendation — and the others — came after the City Council directed City Manager Brian Alligood to review the previously adopted waterfront docks business plan with city staff and provide a recommendation to the council concerning a management plan. Alligood discussed the matter with John Rodman, city planner; Kristi Roberson, the city’s parks and recreation manager; Joe Taylor, chairman of the city’s Recreation Advisory Committee; and Chris Furlough, chairman of the Washington Harbor District Alliance.

In addition to recommendation of setting up a separate budget for the waterfront docks, the panel made these recommendations:

• Creation of a part-time dockmaster position to manage staff; market the docks and oversee facility maintenance. The dockmaster would report directly to Rodman.

• Reduction of part-time dock attendants to three positions with one working year-round, one

working seasonalIy and one working peak months.

•. Creation of a five-member waterfront docks committee to advise and make recommendations to the dockmaster and Rodman.

• Delineation of areas of responsibility for the dockmaster to include the docks and waterfront area, with the Festival Park area remaining under the supervision of the parks and recreation manager.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at www.washingtonnc.gov, click “Government” then “City Council” heading, then click “Meeting Agendas” on the menu to the right. Then click on the date for the appropriate agenda.

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