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Morro Bay City Council approves emergency funding for harbor dock repairs

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Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 03, 2023

Beaten and battered by recent storms, many of the docks in the Morro Bay Harbor are damaged and in need of immediate attention.

At the last Morro Bay City Council meeting, members unanimously voted to approve $80,000 in emergency funding to repair the damaged docks, saying that in their current state, the docks are a safety hazard.

Denis Belvedere is a semi-retired shipwright, but thanks to the recent storms, his services have been needed more frequently. He's currently restoring a boat damaged during one of the recent winter storms.

"This boat here had some damage," Belvedere said, motioning to the ship he is currently repairing. "The dock had broken and then the rub rails, the teak and railings broke off. Luckily, the fenders were on board and they were retrieved on shore."

Morro Bay Mayor Carla Wixom says most of the hardest hit areas are where the commercial fish fleet dock. Being such a high-traffic area, the city council voted to start repairs immediately with emergency funding.

"We just recently voted last week for emergency funding that will be coming from our emergency reserves while we wait for our applications that have been submitted to FEMA," Wixom said.

They plan to repair the finger docks that are next to the boat ramp and six docks that support the commercial fishing vessels.

The city has requested full reimbursement from FEMA for the millions of dollars in damage this year's storms have racked up.

The total damages, which include the City of Morro Bay and the Harbor, total about $20 million and the tab continues to grow.

The harbor director says there is also a significant amount of deferred maintenance that has accumulated due to a lack of funding. Now that emergency funding has been approved for this project, they will get moving immediately.

The next step is to contract a company to carry out the repairs.