Long Beach extends contract with fuel dock operator

LONG BEACH — Fuel docks at Alamitos Bay Marina and Shoreline Marina will continue to operate as Long Beach City Council extended a lease on Dec. 1 for a vendor to continue managing a pair of boat fueling stations into 2016. The Bolder Group will manage both fuel docks until at least June 30, 2016 as the city potentially transitions to a new operator later in the year.

Last month’s council vote bucked a trend of fuel docks shutting down on either side of Long Beach’s coast. Huntington Harbour lost its sole fuel dock on Oct. 1; a marine fuel provider in San Pedro closed shop on Nov. 1.

The city’s lease with Bolder expires Dec. 31; the council’s vote extends the lease until at least June 30, 2016. Long Beach will be seeking a new long-term operator for both fuel docks in February 2016. A needs assessment of the Alamitos Bay Marina fuel dock will be conducted within the next two months to determine whether the venue’s items are properly functioning.

“These items will be included in a Request for Proposals (RFP) process to attract a long-term operator that can implement the needed investments and operate both fuel docks,” city staff told council members in a report. “Staff expects to have all of the information from the needs assessment incorporated into an RFP by February 2016, and a new lease executed by June 30, 2016.”

Council members also approved an option to extend the lease another six months to account for unforeseen circumstances, meaning Bolder could be managing the two fuel docks until the end of 2016.

The contract extension was approved unanimously as part of the council’s consent calendar.

Long Beach replaced the underground storage tanks at Alamitos Bay Marina and Shoreline Marina between 2010 and 2014. New docks, electrical systems, piles and pipes were installed as part of the upgrade. Improvements were also made to several buildings and the gangway was made compliant with the American with Disabilities Act, city staff stated. 

Information of how much it cost Long Beach to replace the underground storage tanks was not made immediately available. Interestingly enough the privately-run fuel dock operators in Huntington Beach and San Pedro shut down, in part, due to the potentially high costs of replacing aging underground storage tanks.

A Newsweek article published in 2010 stated underground fuel tanks could cost between $150,000 and $300,000, each, to replace. Fuel providers would also have to close operations during construction, resulting in lost revenues.

The Bolder Group sells gasoline and diesel fuel to boaters; the company also sells various marine engine products (such as oil and filters), offers towing services, assists the city of Long Beach with removing hazardous materials and recovering abandoned vessels from the water, and operated a convenience store. Bolder also offers fuel tank cleaning, polishing, replacements and salvaging, according to city staff.

City staff stated both fuel docks will generate $15,000 in monthly revenue for Long Beach through June 30, 2016.

Timeline of recent fuel dock closures/lease renewal
– 10/1/2015: Huntington Harbour Fuel Dock shuts down
– 11/1/2015: Cabrillo Marine Fuel Dock in San Pedro shuts down
– 12/1/2015: Long Beach extends lease of two fuel docks

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