Construction of the dock would be subject to commission approval and budgetary considerations, according to plan documents shared at Monday’s commission meeting in Bucoda.
If approved, construction will begin next year and be completed for the 2014 boating season.
South Sound boaters submitted a petition to the port commission in 2008 suggesting the new fuel dock; it was signed by 800 boaters, said Joe Downing, a member of the port’s citizens advisory committee.
The closest fuel dock to downtown Olympia is at Boston Harbor, several miles away. As a result, Swantown Marina, the Olympia Yacht Club and other area marinas don’t have immediate access to a fuel dock.
Downing headed up a subcommittee of the citizens advisory committee that worked on the plan. The three-member port commission asked the advisory group to look into creating the plan at the beginning of the year, he said.
The plan outlines goals, plan participants, how the plan will be communicated, and groups and organizations that likely will question or have an interest in the dock. They include local boating groups, waterfront businesses, several Olympia organizations (such as the Olympia Downtown Association and City of Olympia), neighborhood associations, service clubs and the Squaxin and Nisqually tribes. The latter two additions were requested by commissioner Bill McGregor at Monday’s meeting.
The port is set to arrange public tours of other fuel docks in the region, such as in Des Moines, although McGregor requested that the tours be subject to budgetary considerations.
McGregor said he hasn’t decided whether he will support building the dock, but he thinks there is public support for one.
“I see a need for it, but I’m not set on any one spot,” he said.
Commissioner Jeff Davis, too, said he has not decided whether to support building the dock. He said he wants the public to decide.
He said he supports the public-participation plan, adding that the port has been criticized in the past, such as during the Northpoint development discussion, for not involving the public. A hotel was among several developments proposed for Northpoint, at the very north end of the port peninsula. Some complained that the project was moving too quickly, without thoroughly involving the public. It remains undeveloped.
Commissioner George Barner could not immediately be reached.