Councilors approved a second reading of proposed reorganization changes to the Inner Harbor at a Tuesday, May 2, meeting. The council allocated $5,000 to partially fund relocating moorings in the harbor.

During an April 17 City Council meeting, Harbormaster Katherine Pickering was asked to report back to the Harbor Committee to take a second vote on the proposed changes.

“We took a second vote and the result was 4-1 in favor of the changes,” Pickering said. “I met with some of the mooring businesses and we discussed locations and how things would proceed. Everybody came to the general agreement that this had to be done and done fairly soon.”

Some of the proposed Inner Harbor changes include maintaining a 25-foot buffer within the channel where no moorings or structures could be located, increasing the number of navigational aids within the channel and keeping the turning basins for boats clear.

Pickering said a letter will be sent to all permit holders alerting them their moorings will be moved. The work is scheduled to be completed by June 1.

“If we can’t get the work done within a certain time then the work would be contracted out,” Pickering said.

Councilor Roger Lee asked whether concerns raised during a previous council meeting by Belfast Boatyard Owner Alex Turner about having to adjust the moorings once they are moved had been addressed.

Pickering said Turner expressed a desire to move his own moorings, but she said she felt he understood the need reorganize the inner harbor.

“The plan was to move recreational moorings out first and create space,” she said. “As soon as the weather improves I will be out there marking the recreational moorings.”

As part of the proposed reorganization of the Inner Harbor, the City was asked to partially fund the cost of relocating the moorings. Pickering said there are a total of 31 single point moorings and 13 moored floats that would need to be moved. She said the cost of moving the single point moorings is $100 and the cost to move the moored floats, because they are more complicated, would be higher.

“Everybody agreed $100 is a fair rate for relocating,” Pickering said. “Any other costs for inspections or upgrading would be billed to the owner.”

Originally, the city budgeted $4,000 to cover the costs of relocating the moorings, but due to the added expense of the floats, City Manager Joseph Slocum proposed increasing the amount to $5,000.

The money would be allocated from the Harbor Departments reserve maintenance fund.

Councilors approved the second reading of the Inner Harbor changes and the $5,000 expenditure 4-0 with Councilor Michael Hurley absent.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or bholbrook@villagesoup.com.