City Councilors approved a request from the harbormaster to apply for a Small Harbors Improvement Program (SHIP) for funding to rebuild face floats at City Landing and install a three-pile dolphin.

Harbormaster Kathy Pickering told councilors Tuesday, Dec. 17, she wanted authorization to submit an application to the state's SHIP program for $25,000 in funding to rebuild six floats at City Landing, as well as install a three pile dolphin.

Pickering estimated the project will cost about $50,000 total, and the city would have to provide a $25,000 match to secure the SHIP grant.

City Manager Joseph Slocum said the city's matching funds would be taken from the Harbor Capital Reserve Account.

The city previously considered applying for SHIP funds to overhaul the Thompson's Wharf facility. However, because the SHIP grants can only be used for improvements that promote public access to the water, councilors were hesitant to pursue the funding because it would have limited the city's long-term rental income potential and restricted the management, planning and use of the facility for a 20-year period, Slocum noted in his manager's report.

Pickering said the six face floats at City Landing are 15 years old and need to be replaced because they are used by larger vessels, including the cruise ships that visit the city in the summer.

She added the installation of the three pile dolphin would act as a support for the float array, as well as serve as another point for large vessels to tie up to.

Pickering explained the location of the floats exposes them to a lot of wear and tear from the current and the wake from passing boats.

During brief discussion about the project, Councilor Mike Hurley clarified that the city is replacing only six of the floats at City Landing.

Councilors unanimously approved Pickering's request to apply for SHIP funds.

In other business

Councilors approved a request to $1,684.50 from the Tax Increment Financing reserve accounts to pay a legal bill.

The city gave Public Works Director Bob Richards permission to sell a used backhoe for $3,010.

Councilors were introduced new Assistant City Planner Sadie Lloyd of Brooks. Lloyd is replacing former Assistant City Planner James Francomano.