The Avila Pier is an iconic piece of Avila Beach, but has been partially closed since 2015. The pier needs to be repaired to make it safe again, and the Harbor District did not have the money.
"It doesn't feel safe, you know?" said Los Osos Resident, Anastasia Tarris.
Tarris has been visiting the Avila Pier for 17 years and says she has always felt unsafe on the pier because it is old and needs to be refurbished, especially the boards.
"They're too far apart. I've seen little kids get their feet stuck in them before and women who aren't prepared with their heels getting stuck," said Tarris.
Most of the gaps concerning community members are about an inch wide and they are in between just about every board as you get closer to the end of the pier, but those gaps will soon be filled.
The Avila Pier is finally ready for an update this spring. In march the Harbor Commission voted at their monthly meeting to begin stage one of repairs on the Avila Pier. The Harbor District is working to secure public grants and Friends of Avila Pier is raising private funds.
"After stage one, all of the decking boards that are here right now that we're standing on will be replaced," said Ron Pigeon, Friends of Avila Pier Treasurer and Secretary.
Together they have come up with enough money to carry out stage one. This vote happened because friends of Avila Pier agreed to make up the $245,000 gap in funding. At the April meeting, Friends of Avila Pier formally presented the Harbor Commission with that check.
The full pier renovation consists of 3 separate stages. Throughout stage one boards will be replaced, as well as the railings and lamps along the pier. Throughout stages two and three they plan on adding restrooms and landings, but before they can begin stages two and three they need to secure additional funding.
"We are so pleased that we received such a generous donation from Friends of Avila Pier which will allow us to complete stage one of the rehabilitation project," said Drew Brandy, Port San Luis Harbor Commission President.
With this funding they will be able to fully reopen the pier, even the portion at the end that has been fenced off for years.
The Harbor District says the pier will likely be closed throughout the duration of the project but they cannot provide an exact timeline.
Friends of Avila Pier is still raising funds to complete the second and third stages of the project. If so inclined, you can make donations on the Friends of Avila Pier website, AvilaPier.Org.
Donors can also send tax-deductible donations to Friends of Avila Pier. All donations of $1,000 or more will be recognized with a plaque on the newly renovated pier.