City seeks grant for Snake River moorage with $1 million match
The City of Nome has identified a Snake River Moorage and vessel haul-out facility as a priority project in the Port of Nome’s plans for development at a projected cost of $14 million.
The Nome Common Council has authorized the City of Nome to participate in a U. S. Dept. of Transportation BUILD Discretionary Grant Program with a request for $13 million with a local cost share match of $1 million from port funds guaranteed by City of Nome.
Port administrators look on the additional expansion of the moorage as a way to alleviate crowding and conflicts in use of the port’s inner harbor. For the last five years the inner harbor has experienced an increase in vessel congestion, which has created numerous vessel incidents and significant delays in movement of services and goods across the region.
Fleet types range from 200-ft. cargo barges to 40-ft. Fiberglas sailboats, all vying to operate within a confined area.
Generally, the measure would come to the Council as a recommendation from the Nome Port Commission; however, to meet the grant application deadline of July 18, the process was reversed. At its July 19 meeting, the Port received the Council resolution approving the application on July 9, but did not see a need to apply the rubber stamp.
“They are the authority and are willing to commit a million bucks,” Port Commission Chair Jim West Jr. commented.
The grant process did not require a match, Joy Baker, port director, explained to the Council on July 9; however, a $1 million match would enhance the application, she said.
“Where will the $1 million come from?” Councilman Mark Johnson asked.
The match money would come from the Port of Nome savings account, where the balance was hard to ascertain, as the Port borrowed money from the City for capital projects.
However, the City’s Finance Director Julie Liew determined that even if the Port fully repaid the City, it would still have $1million in savings, Tom Moran, city manager, said Tuesday. Repaying the City and matching for the BUILD grant would, however, empty the account.
The proposed basin area would provide seven acres for vessel moorage, access and maneuvering, with 2,240 feet of floating dock space suitable for 56 40-ft. vessels, according to the proposed project description.
The facility would also contain in-water piers protruding from shore, with sufficient capacity to support a 75 ton travel lift, with an adjacent bulkhead to the north that would serve as a location to load fuel, water, supplies and cargo. This bulkhead would also serve a dual purpose of protecting the boat lift piers from lateral ice movement during winter storms and spring breakup, the project description continues.
Uplands development comprises 1.23 acres and includes a paved wash down area for removing seawater from vessels after haul-out, with environmentally approved containment, runoff separation and drainage features. Fuel would be delivered by truck, with fresh water service tied into a water main buried along Port Road.
Additional services include restrooms, garbage receptacles and overhead lighting with buried tie-in to service along the road. Vessels would be transported across the paved road to a City-owned property for repairs, or long-term storage once wash-down operations were complete.
Primary selection criteria for the grant include transportation safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness and environmental protection.
Awards will be made by Dec. 18.