Beaufort earns second federal grant for upgrades to marina - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Beaufort earns second federal grant for upgrades to marina, boating facilities

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BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

A second federal grant earned by Beaufort will help pay to continue renovations and upgrades to the popular Downtown Marina at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

The Boat Infrastructure Grant (BIG) is for $186,184. The total estimated cost of the project is $304,165.  The City committed to a local match of $82,981, part of which will apply to an upgrade of the marina's fire suppression system that isn't covered by the grant but is needed, Beaufort City Manager Scott Dadson said.

In addition to the federal grant and City contribution, the company that manages the marina, Griffin Enterprises, committed a local match of $25,000 and Beaufort County committed $10,000.

The new grant is in addition to the one currently being used to improve Beaufort's transient boat docks and to install a new mooring field.

"This is great news for Beaufort, for the Downtown Marina and for boaters up and down the East Coast," Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said. "The marina is an essential part of downtown Beaufort, and for a lot of people, it's their first introduction to our historic city. Making these improvements can only help with those first impressions."

The renovation to the aging transient dock infrastructure will provide economic benefits to the community, Beaufort leaders wrote in their grant application.

"The Downtown Marina has been a success story of public/private partnership for almost 40 years. This project builds on that success offering great cost efficiency and return on investment. There is strong local support for the project and the 36 percent local funding match shared by three partners within both the public and private sectors is testament to this support," they wrote.

 The project, to be completed by Dec. 30, 2015, includes:

  • Structural rehabilitation of the existing transient floating docks using recycled materials (flotation cells, pile guides, steel stiffeners and torsional truss system hardware)
  • Improvement to vessel berthing and service (new vinyl rub rail fender, new cleats)
  • Improved life safety and reduced risk hazards (new decking, replacement of damaged power pedestals, maintenance of fire suppression system)
  • Environmental and sustainable construction practices (installation of photovoltaic cells, new decking using U.S. Forest Steward Council certified lumber).

Beaufort commissioned a dock assessment in 2013 to assist in determining the condition of the Transient Docks. That study indicated the entire marina's fire suppression system needed to be cleaned, repaired and upgraded – which will be included in this new work.

The Downtown Marina has approximately 1,140 linear feet of floating dock devoted to transient boats and can accommodate 36 boats up to 26 feet long. Additionally, the City of Beaufort recently was awarded a Tier 1 Boat Infrastructure Grant in 2012 and is using part of that grant to install 16 moorings adjacent to the floating docks. The floating docks will serve these moored transients as they fuel and use pump-out facilities.

The mooring field, in the Beaufort River harbor near the Downtown Marina, will consist of three rows totaling up to 46 moorings allowed by federal permit. Rick Griffin, manager of the Downtown Marina, and the City Council agreed to install all 16 transient boat moorings, which will be located at the outer edge of the field.

In addition, the work crews will install 14 long-term moorings which already have been leased to area boaters, Griffin said. Terms of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers grant require that the initial 16 moorings be for transient boats.

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