Port ‘highly likely’ to receive grant for Nichols Boat Basin

The Port of Hood River recently received word that it is in line to receive a $445,000 state grant to help construct a waterfront bike and pedestrian trail located on the west bank of the Nichols Boat Basin.

Michael McElwee, the port’s executive director, reported during the port’s regular meeting held last week that the waterfront trail was ranked fourth on a list of 36 projects around the state competing for funding from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department through the Local Government Grant Program. Due to limited funding, only the top nine-ranked projects made the cut.

“Number four ain’t bad,” McElwee said of the ranking and added, “that was a real nice win.”

Technically, the port hasn’t received the grant yet, which must still go through a state review, but according to McElwee’s executive director’s report, it is “highly likely” the port’s project will end up receiving funding approval.

“That isn’t certain until the parks commission approves this, which I believe is in August, but given our standing, I think we’re in pretty good shape,” he told port commissioners.

The port, however, did not receive a Connect V grant for $369,000, but McElwee said between the $445,000 LGGP grant and another state grant for $122,000 the port received last year, as well as port funds, there would be enough money to perform the phase one aspects of the project, which would include the bike and pedestrian path, beach restoration, trails leading down to the water, as well as grading and landscaping. It would not, however, include work to the upper portions of the bank, such as the proposal to remove the median on North First Street. On the grant list, the total cost of the project was tallied at $776,809.

McElwee said the port plans to have more public meetings to discuss the project, but in the meantime, has directed their architect, Walker Macy, to continue with construction drawings. McElwee expected that port will have a contract for the project’s construction by the end of 2014 and that construction would commence in either the winter or early spring of 2015 and be completed by June 2015.

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