City officials approve funding to upgrade utilities at Thompson's Wharf, dispose of old floats

By Ben Holbrook | Jun 05, 2014

Belfast — City officials approved a request from the harbormaster to spend up to $18,000 to replace utilities at Thompson's Wharf, as well as $5,000 to dispose of old floats.

As the city works to rebuild the aging Thompson's Wharf facility, officials had initially considered updating the existing electricity and water utilities but learned doing so would not be cost effective. Harbormaster Katherine Pickering stated in a memo to City Manager Joseph Slocum the updated water system can be installed in-house, but the shore power installation work must be done by a licensed electrician.

The city received an estimate from Reynolds Electric to install the shore power at a cost of $17,329.60. That estimate includes the installation of six shore power stations with 30 and 50 amp receptacles with meters, about 1,000 feet of marine-grade cord and new breakers.

Pickering noted the cost for the shore power installation could be reduced if the city chose not to use 50 amp receptacles, as well as by providing some of the labor in-house.

Councilor Roger Lee said he was “very much in favor” of the work, especially given the recent decision by the city to increase slip rental fees at Thompson's Wharf.

Mayor Walter Ash Jr. asked Pickering for an update on the status of the rebuild at the wharf. Pickering said the new floats, which are being built by Delong Marine, are under construction and she hopes they will begin arriving within the next few weeks.

In addition to upgrading the utilities, Pickering asked for council approval to spend up to $5,000 to dispose of the old floats from Thompson's Wharf. Pickering said she received an estimate from DM&J Waste in Winterport in November 2013 in the amount of $5,000 to dispose of the floats. She said the float material is not considered hazardous, but the weight of the material is estimated to be about 60,000 pounds.

She said all of the metal fastenings, including hinge plates and cleats, that are reusable were removed.

City Manager Joseph Slocum noted the money for updating the utilities and disposing of the old floats will be taken from a harbor maintenance reserve account.

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