One of the wooden docks at the Pasco Boat Basin is likely beyond repair after this month’s heavy snowfall.
Pasco City Council members were expected to approve $172,000 for a temporary fix.
The Band-Aid was supposed to take care of the two covered docks, operated by the Columbia Marine Center, for a few years until Pasco was prepared to spend $1.7 million on a full replacement.
It isn’t an option anymore.
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Rick Terway, Pasco’s Administrative and Community Services director, gave an update at a recent council meeting in light of approximately 15 inches of snow accumulation in January.
A good portion of the western dock is frozen under the Columbia River, with the roof bowed down to just above the water, he said.
“We really don’t know specifically what’s going to happen until the snow and ice go away,” Terway said. “I can tell you that 90 percent of it is not repairable. It is tweaked, bent, twisted in ways that it wasn’t designed for.”
We really don’t know specifically what’s going to happen until the snow and ice go away. I can tell you that 90 percent of it is not repairable. It is tweaked, bent, twisted in ways that it wasn’t designed for.
Rick Terway, Pasco’s Administrative and Community Services director
The second covered dock in the middle may also be damaged, but isn’t likely to be as severe as the western one since it is still standing above water.
The two covered docks in the Boat Basin have 35 slips each. They were built in the late 1940s.
A third uncovered dock is to the east.
Pasco leases the Boat Basin from the Army Corps of Engineers, and sub-leases it to Columbia Marine Center and its private operator Jim Toroni.
The Corps was notified about what is happening, even though the docks are not part of the leased property.
Terway said he believes there are four or five boats renting the covered slips on the western dock this winter.
To avoid any potential hazards in case the boats went under the water, the marina removed all fuel and oil from the boats, he said. Pasco firefighters stood by in drysuits for safety reasons.
$1.7 million To replace two covered docks
70 Boat slips on two docks
Mayor Matt Watkins noted that nobody had been hurt by the frozen docks, but questioned if there is any bright spot to it.
“I really don’t want to get into any possibilities at this point because we just don’t know for sure,” Terway replied. “There are just too many unknowns right now to give a definite answer.”
The council was supposed to approve the marina dock repairs at its Jan. 17 meeting. That changed with the snow and ice storms that hit in the week leading up to the meeting.
It will cost about $850,000 to replace each dock because they must meet current standards, which includes being built with steel and not wood. The Boat Basin dock overhaul is part of Pasco’s capital improvement plan, but is not in the budget.
Councilman Chi Flores asked if the city will have functioning docks by the summer.
Terway said that is the city’s hope, but there are a lot of hoops that officials must jump through first.
He said more details will come once the river thaws, and they can better assess the damage.