Derelict vessels to be removed

Published on Thu, May 15, 2003
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Derelict vessels to be removed

The city of Blaine is forging ahead with the removal of the USA and Liberty, the two derelict vessels stuck in Drayton Harbor.

At Monday�s city council meeting, the council unanimously voted to allow city manager Gary Tomsic to move ahead with a contract designating the removal work to Fairhaven Shipyards at a total cost of $41,781.

All but 25 percent of the cost will be covered by the Derelict Vessels Act, a state program that makes funds available for the removal of derelict vessels. The program went into effect in January, and the city of Blaine was one of the first communities to apply for funding.

The remaining 25 percent will be shared by the city and the Port of Bellingham. The city�s share will come from the general fund, and will total a little more than $5,000.

The USA and Liberty were abandoned in the harbor after being declared unseaworthy last fall. In October, they were pulled from the Blaine marina by Warren Hanson, who owns the vessels, and then anchored in the harbor. He received an eviction notice from the Port of Bellingham, as part of the derelict boat program. Following a winter nor-easter, the vessels moved from their anchored location and are now stuck near the shore.

The city was unable to reach Hanson, so in a January 24 legal notice, the city declared it had taken custody of the vessels and would dispose of them in a manner of their choosing.