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Nome Port Commission Considers Deep Draft Port, Snake River Moorage

Chairman Jim West signs papers presented by Harbormaster Lucas Stotts at the end of a meeting of the Nome Port Commission.
Chairman Jim West, Harbormaster Lucas Stotts, and Commissioner Scot Henderson after a meeting of the Nome Port Commission in 2017. Photo: Zoe Grueskin/KNOM.

The Nome Port Commission voted last night to pay $22,000 for cost estimates and renderings for a deep draft port expansion. Anchorage consulting firm PND Engineers will prepare the report.

Port Director Joy Baker says the cost estimates and renderings will help the Port apply for grant funding and work with the Army Corps of Engineers and other entities on the expansion: “I think it would be very effective to have these not only for the grant but for alternative purposes, and I think the $22,000 is a very reasonable number to get us there.”

The Port will pay for the report with state grant money from 2016. PND is expected to deliver the cost estimates and renderings within three weeks.

The Commission also voted to apply for a TIGER grant from the US Department of Transportation to develop the Snake River basin as additional moorage space for small vessels. TIGER grants fund infrastructure projects to support the movement of freight. Baker explained:

“Obviously, the river doesn’t support that, but the river does support pulling the smaller vessels—the sailboats, the smaller dredges, the smaller fishing boats, any research vessels—things that would eliminate the congestion so that we can move the freight, the fuel and the gravel more effectively and efficiently, and that would fit under this program of funding.”

In the report she prepared for the Commission, Baker also noted that the project would create more protected harbor space for mariners to take refuge in during storms.

Before adjourning, the Port Commission also decided more time is needed to review the final draft of a Capital Improvements Plan to assess the Port’s long-term needs. The Commission will consider the plan at its next regular meeting on October 19th.

Image at top: Chairman Jim West, Harbormaster Lucas Stotts, and Commissioner Scot Henderson after a meeting of the Nome Port Commission in 2017. Photo: Zoe Grueskin/KNOM.

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