HUNTINGTON BEACH — Imagine being without a gas station near your Huntington Beach residence and having to navigate to Newport Beach or Long Beach to fill up your tank.
Boaters at Huntington Harbour lost their only fuel dock on Oct. 1, 2015 and faced the prospects of not having a local place to fill up for an indefinite amount of time, navigating to stations in Long Beach or Newport Beach harbors to replenish empty fuel tanks.
Those same boaters can now breathe a sigh of relief as Maxum Petroleum will re-open the Huntington Harbour Fuel Dock on April 1 – exactly six months after Center City Properties, which was operated by the Miller Family Trust, and Nahas Enterprises shut down its fueling operations at Mariner’s Point.
Huntington Beach brokered a deal with Maxum Petroleum in December 2015.
“On behalf of the city we are pleased to know the Huntington Harbour fuel dock will reopen to the enjoyment of our local boaters. Our staff and elected officials put in many hours working with the local residents and Maxum Petroleum to ensure the fuel dock would serve the community for years to come,” said Huntington Beach’s city manager Fred Wilson. “We greatly appreciated Maxum’s commitment and desire to serve our residents and boating visitors.”
The fuel dock underwent a facelift after Maxum Properties took over the property; the plans to update the fuel storage tanks and make other improvements during the next three years. Maxum Petroleum representatives told city officials in December 2015 the company anticipates investing about $500,000 into upgrading the fuel dock.
Huntington Harbour Yacht Club Commodore John Schmidt said the return of a fuel dock will be welcomed by boaters, local businesses and residents alike.
“One needs only imagine living in a small town quite a distance from the next, and how you would feel if the only gas station were to suddenly close. The fact is both in the boating community as well as on land, we get use to what we have, our mobility, the convenience and comfort level, and to suddenly lose that can be quite unsettling,” Schmidt said. “The fact that there didn’t seem to be much we could do about it was overwhelming to say the least.”
He added the lack of a fuel dock had a negative economic impact on the community.
“We also had a lack of income into the harbor due to lower boat launches within the area as many residences went elsewhere where there were full accommodations. This created a ripple effect on local business up and down Sunset Beach, not to mention the lost tax revenue our city will never regain,” Schmidt said. “How many people are willing to pay the high dollar that our homes on the water can bring when they are unsure of where to fill up their fuel tanks? I have to imagine that this has significantly hurt our property owner’s value during this unknown time.”
Schmidt commended Maxum Petroleum for coming in and allowing fuel dock services to continue in the harbor.
City staff stated the fuel dock services about 6,000 recreational boaters. The city sold the fuel dock to Maxum Properties for $25,000; the California State Lands Commissions assisted with the sale.