KENNEWICK -- Public comments about the meager light shining from the Clover Island lighthouse has prompted the Port of Kennewick to install a brighter light.
The Port of Kennewick commissioners agreed this week to replace the existing solar-powered beacon with a brighter light for less than $3,000.
"It's a way to fix it for a reasonable sum, and it kind of is receptive to public comments and not a lot of money," said port Executive Director Tim Arntzen.
Commissioners also discussed making some other improvements to the lighthouse.
Arntzen said that would include some minor painting of the lighthouse and the plaza around it as well as possibly installing lights at the base of the lighthouse that would shine upward.
Arntzen said commissioners told him to go ahead and make the improvements within his spending authority, which is $40,000.
He estimated the total project would be about $15,000. He expects the work to be complete about July 1.
The 62-foot tall light house became operational in February 2010.
The port paid more than $1 million for the construction of the lighthouse and other improvements such as an arched gateway, a 10,000-square-foot public plaza and about 300 feet of sidewalk to link to an existing city sidewalk near the island entrance.
Also this week:
-- Commissioners discussed seeking a fixed-based operator to run the private pilot portion of Vista Field. The field is located near Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.
Arntzen said the port had a fixed-base operator at Vista Field several years ago.
The fixed-based operator could potentially do things such as offer aircraft repair and flight training for private pilots.
Arntzen said having a fixed-based operator, also known as FBO, could possibly save taxpayer money. He said the FBO could take over administering fuel sales at the field, mowing the infield, and other tasks now performed by port employees.
Arntzen shared a draft request for proposals for an FBO that he had developed.
Commissioners told him to post it on the port's website, www.portofkennewick.org, to get public input. Arntzen expects the commissioners to discuss the request for proposals again at their next meeting.
-- Commissioners will have a joint meeting with the West Richland City Council at 6 p.m. May 9.
Arntzen said the meeting is intended to help residents of West Richland understand what the Port of Kennewick does. A location has not been set.
West Richland is within the port's district.