Ocean Shores targets Legislature for Jetty help

Repairs would satisfy stability requirements

The city of Ocean Shores has a specific wish list ready for the state Legislature this session, with the top item — support and funding for the ongoing North Jetty erosion study and potential plan — already being advocated by a group that includes the Port of Grays Harbor, the Department of Ecology and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

In the most recent study cited in the pitch to the Legislature, three conceptual alternatives are identified, with cost estimates that range from $3.8 million for the first alternative, $6.3 million for Alternative C, and $7.9 million for Alternative B.

Under those alternatives — each involving jetty repairs — the first one would provide an estimated 5-10 years of shoreline protection, with Alternative C providing 10-15 years, and Alternative B providing more than 15 years.

According to the study, approximately 1,000 feet of “jetty repairs appears to be required to satisfy stability requirements” for Ocean Shores, at least in the near future.

Based on the study and estimate, the city and Mayor Crustal Dingler have made a formal $4 million funding request to the Legislature, sponsored by newly elected 24th District Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Clallam County. The request also goes to Capital Budget Chair Rep. Steve Tharinger of the 24th district, who likewise has visited the jetty area this past year to see some of the erosion and localized damage.

“The intent is to protect the city of Ocean Shores’ shoreline from further erosion and public infrastructure from coastal flooding,” the city said in its formal request.

The target date to start the work would be May 2017, with the end date being Dec. 20, 2018.

Councilman Jon Martin, the City Council’s liaison to the Legislature, laid out the list of priorities being pushed by the city going into the next state session.

Convention Center

The second priority would be to get support for continued funding of the Convention Center through the sales tax portion the facility now receives in a public facilities program scheduled to expire in its 15th year. The city would like to see that expanded to 30 years since the Convention Center debt is an obligation of the city’s.

“That is a huge weight that is on us,” Martin said.

“We need to get together with all of the public facilities districts to push that,” added Councilman John Lynn, noting the issue impacts other areas with convention centers built under the state Public Facilities District legislation, such as Yakima, Wenatchee or the Tri-Cities. “We’re not going to get it just on our own.”

Dingler noted the sales tax rebate the city now gets has amounted to about $300,000 a year to pay about half of the cost of operating the Convention Center.

“All of the Convention Centers get that for a number of years,” she said. “Now we have refinanced our Convention Center, and that means the last several years, we will end up paying the whole shot ourselves, which could be a lot of money.”

The goal, she said, was to team up with representatives of other public facilities to extend the rebate as needed.

“That would be a boon to us,” Dingler said.

Pt. Brown Avenue

The third priority would be the redesign and redevelopment of Pt. Brown Avenue from the city gates to the roundabout.

Martin stressed the economic development aspect of the Pt. Brown plan, which is something that legislators have said is important.

“If we focus on those three things and got moving on those, we’d be hugely successful,” Martin said of the city’s overall strategy going to the Legislature.

Countywide, there is a legislative sendoff on Jan. 5 in Aberdeen at the Rotary Log Pavilion.