The new $10 million Shoemaker Bay Harbor should be complete this month. About 100 users are now able to dock at their new stalls as last minute renovations continue.
In total, the harbor will accommodate about 150 stalls. Construction is still happening on the finger stalls. One vital part is still closed off to users, that’s the boat launch ramp.
Harbor Master Greg Meissner says there’s still work that could interfere with folks trying to use the boat ramp. But Meissner says that work, leveling the dock, could wrap in about a week.
The $10 million project is paid about half from city funds and half from a state Department of Transportation grant. Meissner says the project kept within its budget. Because of that, the city may use contingency funds set aside to upgrade the boat launch and parking, things not originally addressed in the project.
However, those renovations are up in the air. Meissner says the city got bad news from the state. With its grants, like the one from DOT, the state takes back some of that money for administrative costs. Meissner says the city just got word a few weeks ago that those costs would be far higher than anticipated.
“We started the project in September of last year and in March it went from 1 percent to 2.48 percent. And then about two weeks ago we were notified it jumped to 10 percent,” he said.
The city had originally anticipated $40,000 to $50,000 going back to the state. Now it could be ten times that.
“We have contracts signed, projects going. We’re lucky there was no contingency issues, we would have used all those funds up and [the state] would have said ‘Here’s your bill’ and we wouldn’t have had the money,” Meissner said.
Meissner says the state didn’t give a clear reason for the hike. The city is asking for the state to reverse its decision.
Anyone with a stall promised to them should contact the harbor department at 907-874-3736 to confirm their new spot. After those folks are settled, spots are open for trade to those at other Wrangell docks. After that, those on the wait list will be notified of open slots by certified mail, with 30 days to respond.