PORT OF ILWACO - During the Port of Ilwaco commission meeting Monday, Manager Mack Funk reported that the First and Howerton project is going very well.

"Howerton is paved and the sidewalk work is going well," he said, adding that issue of "bellies" in the new sewer line is on its way to being satisfactorily resolved. He said a second videotape of the line revealed no additional settling in the pipe. "I recommend the city accept the work with minor repairs at manhole No. 3," Funk said. The repairs can be done below ground, he said, and the line won't have to be excavated.

Funk discussed purchasing sod for the grassy area on the south side of Waterfront Way in time for the opening of the Saturday Market in May. "It's more expensive than seeding," he said, "but since the sewer project came in under budget, maybe we could use those funds for sod and install a sprinkler system so the grass doesn't turn brown during the summer." He added that nine people have signed up to purchase new lights for Waterfront Way as memorials to deceased relatives or friends and those funds could be used to offset costs of sod and sprinklers.

Rick Parker, a metal sculptor and owner of Cymbolics Gallery at the port, presented his design for the lights to the commission. The stainless steel lights in his design would give better visibility at night at the waterfront than the design the port is considering, he said, and metal fish would cover the light holes, with aqua light bulbs used for a more subtle lighting. The design is all UL approved, he said, and costs less than the ones the commission has been looking at. Memorial plaques, possibly of copper, can also be attached to his design.

"We'll investigate further and make a decision at the next meeting," Funk said.

The port's financial officer, Mary DeLong, reported that the restroom project at the port is out for bids and four firms have replied so far. "We're waiting for more," she said. Bid opening is March 10 at 10 a.m. at the port office.

Port Harbormaster Jamie Sowers reported that her crew is removing old pilings in the harbor with the U.S. Coast Guard 44-foot motor lifeboat, saving about $200 per piling over hiring an outside firm to do the work. The lifeboat was acquired through an agreement last year with the Washington Parks and Recreation Department.

Sowers said dredging is completed for the year and her crew is doing minor repairs and maintenance to the dredge prior to storing it until the next dredge season.

A diesel smell at Festival Net Coffee's back room is "still a mystery," Sowers said, and port personnel are working at finding the source of the smell.

Funk and Commissioner Jim Stiebritz reported on their trip to Washington, D.C., as members of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (see sidebar on Page A7). "It was a worthwhile trip," Stiebritz said during the commission meeting. "We knocked on lots of doors. Ilwaco got the message out back there."

"The big issue is the jetties," Stiebritz said. "The corps is studying them and know we need to take care of them." He added that several officials he talked to had been to the port recently. "They thought we were dead in 1995 and were impressed with the work we've done."

Port merchant Donna Kinman remarked that "It's wonderful to be a part of the port. We weren't impacted by the First and Howerton work like we thought we would be. Port personnel work very hard and (Harbormaster) Jamie (Sowers) is saving money on work and utilizing tools. It's great to be part of a group all working for the same goals."

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