Panel fine-tunes harbor plan

Published 2:30 am Saturday, October 4, 2008

By Staff
Expects to providesome suggestionswithin 60 to 90 days
Contributing Editor
Washington is a step closer to implementing a management plan for its harbor.
During the City Council’s meeting Monday, the city’s Harbor Committee presented a progress report to the council. The committee is charged with making recommendations to the council on how to best implement a proposed harbor-management plan. The panel’s advisory role includes suggesting ways the city can implement the plan, at least parts of it, in a responsible and orderly way. The plan was developed by a group of approximately 50 people and organizations.
The report, was delivered by David Emmerling, a committee member and executive director of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation. Emmerling told the council the committee is striving to present a “set of recommendations” to the city within 60 to 90 days. Those recommendations are expected to include provisions that will allow the city to have control over derelict boats in the harbor.
Jennette said the committee did a “great job” with its first assignment.
Emmerling’s presentation focused on a list of eight priorities related to implementing the first phase of a harbor-management plan. Those priorities were established through a rating process that weighed importance and order of implementation, he said.
The eight priorities under review by the committee are:
Emmerling said the committee is convinced the city may make some headway in getting the Division of Water Quality to upgrade its rating of city waters from “C” classification to a “B” classification.
That was good news to hear, Jennette said Friday.
In July, the council endorsed a draft harbor-management plan. At that July meeting, several people spoke in favor of the plan. About two years ago, the city began taking a look at installing mooring fields in the harbor. That idea expanded into consideration of a harbor-management plan. The plan endorsed by the council in July was developed by a group of approximately 50 people and organizations.
Washington’s latest land-use plan, required by the Coastal Area Management Act and implemented in 2007, calls for the city to develop a harbor-management plan and a water-use plan. The land-use plan also calls for the city to establish mooring fields in some of the city’s waterways.