LONG BEACH – Requiring the Tidelands Fund repay a hefty loan to the Marina Fund may be the only foreseeable way for the Alamitos Bay Marina rebuild to continue on track as city staff tries to find ways to fund the $60 million project.
City Manager Pat West told councilmembers that staff was ready to follow through on a suggestion Councilman Patrick O’Donnell made for the city to look into an unpaid loan that took place between the Tidelands Fund and the Marina Funs in the later 1990s.
Councilman Patrick O’Donnell initially asked staff to look into the possible outstanding loan during a March meeting.
“We are looking at that $10.9 million to help jump start this project,” West said.
The transfer will need approval from the State Lands Commission, which could happen by June. The money would cover a portion of the Basin 2 rebuild as the city works to secure bond issues to pay the remaining project cost. A sum of $60 million.
Bellingham Marine will continue electrical work in the marina under a $1.4 million contract.
Slip renters are pleased that the project will continue but are concerned that upgrades to dilapidated docks and gangways will not come fast enough.
Bob Hubbard, who slips his boat in Basin 2, said that maintenance staff cannot keep up with the repair requests and it’s becoming a problem.
“This project cannot be delayed,” he said. “The docks are dangerous. I encourage you to do everything you can to move forward.”
O’Donnell agreed that basins 2 and 3 are in “definite need of work.”
“It is not a safe place to walk,” he added.
Speakers also asked that the loan be paid back with interest.
To date, four of the marina’s eight basins have been completed since the project’s start date. Basins 1, 4, 5 and 8 have been completed, leaving basins 2, 3, 6 and 7. Dredging is included in project costs in which silt will be disposed of in the Port of Long Beach Middle Harbor project. Currently, low tide clearance is 3 feet but should stand at 8 feet.
A few boaters have gotten stuck in the channel at low tide, a speaker said.
Construction costs for Basin 2 will cost $26.9 million; $22.1 million for Basin 3; $6.7 million for Basin 6, and Basin 7 will cost an estimated $1.6 million. Landside improvements are expected to run $18 million. A small boat storage facility for vessels 20 to 30 feet in length will also be constructed as ordered by the California Coastal Commission.
City staff will seek State Lands Commission approval in June, come back to the City Council in July to appropriate the funds and enter into a contract for Basin 2.