Archived Story

City has asset in WHDA

Published 8:52pm Monday, September 9, 2013

Some folks seem to have the mistaken belief that the City of Washington is turning over management of the city-owned docks along Stewart Parkway and it promenade to the Washington Harbor District Alliance.

That’s not the case. The Washington Harbor District Alliance, charged with bringing revitalization and reinvestment to the downtown and harbor districts, is doing nothing more than making recommendations concerning management of those docks. In fact, the Washington Harbor District Alliance’s maritime team in on record supporting the business plan that former City Manager Josh Kay developed for the docks. 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, who knows a thing or two about boating.

That maritime team, in our opinion, just wants to help make sure the docks are run efficiently as possible and promoted as much as possible to take advantage of the area’s boating community, which spends lots of money. The maritime team wants the city to benefit from those expenditures.

Some of the team’s recommendations were presented to the City Council last night.

The maritime does not advocate 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.

No, the Washington Harbor District Alliance is not taking over management of the docks. It just wants the city to benefit from those docks as much as possible.

That’s charting a sensible course.

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