This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Let’s get it right.
The Bainbridge Island Harbor Commission presented its plan for a major makeover of the city dock to the council this week.
The commission deserves a hearty well-done for the commissioners’ yeoman work on the project, which involved countless meetings with stakeholders, interested islanders and others to come up with a balanced project that addresses the multitude of deficiencies with the existing dock.
The current dock, built with creosote pilings, sits in an embarrassing state of disrepair.
The harbor commission, however, has come up with an ambitious plan for a modern dock that will serve a wide population of residents and off-island visitors, from kayakers to high school rowers to transient boaters.
The new dock will also be a benefit to those who never use it. It’s estimated the facility could bring in $110,000 to the city in direct revenue from slip and ramp fees, and an expanded facility could spur an economic boost to city businesses that adds up to roughly $720,000 annually.
Of course, much community input and refinement to the proposed plan will be needed in the months to come.
Some are worried about the visual impacts of an expanded dock, and how the development will fit with, and enhance, Waterfront Park. These are valid concerns, and merit consideration.
In the end, however, we remain convinced that such issues can be resolved by the harbor commission, the city and the public without unnecessary delay.