Trillium cash boost for dock

Published on Thu, Jul 18, 2002 by Christine Callan and Mikael Kenoyer

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Trillium cash boost for dock

By Christine Callan and Mikael Kenoyer

$137,000 appeared, as if by a miracle, on the eve of the evaporation of funds Drayton Harbor Maritime (DHM) requested for a dock renovation project at warehouse #6 on Tongue Point, Semiahmoo.

The godsend came in the form of a check from Trillium, dated June 27. Money promised to DHM by the Heritage Resource Center would have been awarded to another organization had the DHM not met their goal by the 28th, said executive director of DHM, Richard Sturgill. One more day, and DHM would have been singing “Let’s call the whole thing off.”

“I really appreciate Trillium Corporation realizing the importance of this project and allowing this to happen,” Sturgill said, “This is one of the few historic wharfs left in the state of Washington and this will save an important part of our maritime heritage.”

The project will pay for the occupation of building #6 and wharf repairs, so the Plover ferry can return to its original landing. The ferry now runs its historic route from Blaine to Semiahmoo, originating from the days when the APA cannery ran full tilt.

The DHM is not the only group pleased to see the renovation get the go-ahead. “The pedestrian link between Blaine and Semiahmoo is important and this will really enhance the relationship between the resort and the city,” said Bob Libolt, vice president of development for Trillium.

Most of the money to complete the project is now in place, according to Libolt. “This is a very important project because the most
significant asset Blaine and Semiahmoo have is their waterfront,” he said. “Not only is this part of connecting our community to the waterfront, but it is also historical preservation as well.” Trillium will lease the facility to DHM at $1 a year, for at least 25 years.

With the completion of the project, the public will have access to the previously private historic wharf, which will serve as a link to the Coast Millennium Trail (CMT) across Drayton Harbor.

DHM was one of approximately 130 non-profit organizations that applied for state funds and only 25 of those organizations were awarded money, Sturgill said. He believes they were chosen because the dock renovation project is a cooperative effort between CMT, DHM, Trillium and the port of Bellingham and Blaine Tourism Advisory Committee, which recently pledged $20,000 for interpretive maritime and natural history signage for the renovation.

Possible plans for the building include a maritime interpretive center telling the natural history of the area, or moving the existing Semiahmoo Park Maritime Museum to this location.

Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as the federal permits are granted from the Corps of Engineers, likely six months or more Construction is expected to take approximately a year..
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