Waterfront getting attention: Goals, challenges abundant in 2015
Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2015
In January, the city revised its waterfront dock fees, but there’s more in store for those docks and the waterfront.
Earlier this year, John Rodman, the city’s community and cultural resources director, reviewed the goals and challenges related to the waterfront docks for this year and beyond. One of those goals is to initiate planning for a “maritime quarter” on the city’s waterfront. That maritime quarter would include the docks and the new dockmaster’s station at the west end of Stewart Parkway. Another goal is construction of the People’s Pier, for which the city has received grant funding to help pay for its construction.
The docks and other adjacent city facilities on the waterfront have been the subjects of several city actions in recent months. City has completed reorganization of the docks management, hired a part-time dockmaster, appointed a waterfront docks advisory committee and completed construction of the new dockmaster’s station that includes public restrooms and shower and laundry facilities for boaters.
The city is exploring ways to make the waterfront generate more revenue for the city. The recent change to the dock fees is part of that strategy, but there is at least one other piece of that strategy.
“We want to investigate a new policy for use of commercial activity on the waterfront,” he said earlier this year.
As for the People’s Pier, the city awarded an $83,124 contract to Sawyer’s Residential & Marine Construction to build the Peoples Pier and erect the pier’s gazebo-like structure. The city budgeted $150,000 for the project.
Plans for the pier show it extending from south of Harding Square and into the Pamlico River. The walkway is about 32 feet long and 8 feet wide. The pier’s platform will be about 40 feet by 36 feet.
The proposed gazebo-like structure will be in the shape of a polygon, according to city documents. That structure will be about 20 feet by 20 feet. Its purpose is to provide shade during summer months.
The city is looking to establish a budget and procedure for the emergency removal of derelict boats in the harbor. An incident in 2007 focused attention on the issue. A derelict sailboat, left in the harbor for months, somehow made its way up the Pamlico River toward the U.S. Highway 17 bridge, making itself a hazard to boating traffic on the river and posing a danger of damage to the bridge.