Byline: Taylor Hill LONG BEACH — Boaters who used to frequent Shoreline Marina fuel dock for their fueling needs should be able to use the facilities this summer for the first time in four years. Following the California Coastal Commission’s approval of the rebuild and retrofitting of the docks and fuel tanks at the current site along Shoreline Marina’s southern jetty, Long Beach Marine Bureau manager Mark Sandoval said the plan is for the dock to reopen by June. “The plan is to open up the Shoreline fuel dock, keep the Alamitos Bay fuel dock open for the summer and then start Alamitos Bay fuel dock construction after summer ends, to have it ready to go by the 2013 summer,” Sandoval said. The Shoreline Marina fuel dock facilities have been shut down since 2008, when updated state regulations for fuel dispensaries began requiring double-walled barriers for fuel storage tanks and reinforced piping, Sandoval said. The old underground fuel tanks and pipelines were removed from the parking lot and jetty in 2010, and Long Beach boat owners were waiting for additional funds to come in, so the $2 million project to retrofit both marinas would not fall squarely on the backs of slip tenants. “We couldn’t find alternative funding, so the project is being 100 percent funded by the Marina Fund,” Sandoval said. The Marina Fund is backed primarily by slip fees and marina customer revenue. During Long Beach Marine Advisory Committee meetings last year, boat owners, other interested parties and members of the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Association recommended to Long Beach City Council that both fuel docks be updated and open to the public without placing an additional cost on slip tenants. Long Beach Marine Bureau officials estimate that approximately 20 percent of the fuel dock usage is from visiting boaters, while around 80 percent of the use is generated from Long Beach Harbor slip tenants. Approximately $2.2 million from the Marine Fund Reserve has now been put toward the fuel dock upgrades. The existing 100-foot-long, 1,580-square-foot dock float will be removed and replaced by a new 105-foot-long, 2,068-square-foot dock float, which includes a 380-square-foot office and store with a public restroom. While the new dock will use the same pilings currently in place, it will be angled so that boaters coming off the dock will be better positioned to avoid the nearby marina slips. The proposed project is expected to take about 10 weeks to complete, and Sandoval said the city is working to find out if a Coastal Development Permit — which requires Coastal Commission approval — will be necessary for the Alamitos Bay fuel dock retrofit. In addition to the new storage tank and fuel pipe requirements, increased monitoring of the docks is expected — and additional safety checks will be required to keep the facility open to the public.
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