PORT OF ILWACO - Port of Ilwaco Harbormaster Jamie Sowers reported on the year's dredging season Monday during the port commissioners' meeting.

She said during the 2003-04 season, 42,846 cubic yards were removed from the marina, compared to 23,793 during the 2002-03 season. She said costs during this year's season were down to about 98 cents per cubic yard from $1.44 last year.

"We had a great year because of a number of factors," she said. "We had a really good crew - Johnny Phillips and Jeff and Johnny Haataja. They are master levermen (dredge operators). It made the work go really fast."

She singled out Mark Elliott, who manages the boat yard, and "made sure everything got done at the port so we could concentrate on dredging. We had efficient dredgers and that made a huge difference in the work we got done." Sowers said there were "very few problems with breakdowns on the dredge, good maintenance and knowing the machinery so we could fix problems in a timely manner. This was the best year yet. We finished basically the whole east side of the recreational marina."

Also during Monday's meeting, Wilcox and Flegel representative Eric Clardy proposed consolidating fueling operations at the east end of the dock to provide more flexible fueling options for larger vessels such as cruise ships. Port Financial Director Mary DeLong said the proposal would involve leasing part of Holman Dock to the company.

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