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County Harbor Commission Paves Way to Finance Projects

The San Mateo County Harbor Commission met in South City earlier this month and passed a resolution that could make it easier to finance Pillar Point Harbor construction and improvements.

Earlier this month the San Mateo Harbor Commission met in South San Francisco to address a resolution to open financing options for the modernizing and expansion of facilities at Pillar Point Harbor.

During the meeting, the Commission approved Resolution 17-12 to make it easier to finance improvement projects.

The new resolution allows the Harbor District to seek reimbursement for early-stage improvement costs, such as architectural design or EIR's, via bonds, loans, or grants later on.

If construction projects proceed and if the district decides to seek outside financing, the State Department of Boat and Waterways and California Maritime Infrastructure Authority are possible financiers they would approach.

The district has discussed several improvement projects in recent years. According to the district's general manager, Peter Grenell, current projects still on the table are: electrical repairs and repaving of the outer deck at the Johnson Pier, extending Perched Beach, permitting permanent structures in the Pillar Point Harbor area to diversify the district's revenue base, and the construction of a multi-purpose building at Pillar Point to house district office space and a Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary visitor center. 

Grenell said that the district occasionally hears concerns from local environmentalists about the effects construction might have on ecology and wildlife.

"There are certain things we have to do by law, such as EIR's," he said. "The two Oyster Point dock reuilding projects – we need to get permits for those, and we just got permits finally in the last two weeks. For the ferry terminal, they were told they had to undertake three different studies to see if there were going to be any impacts on whatever oyster habitat there was there."

Grenell said that the list of improvements for the Pillar Point Harbor area could cost as much as $25 million, though the district is in such an early stage of planning that the number is only a rough estimate.

Stay tuned to learn which improvement projects proceed. Tell us below what your opinion is on Oyster Point and Pillar Point Harbor and if you would like to see improvements there.

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