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Port giving Silverdale waterfront a makeover

Due to demand and an increase in usage, the Port of Silverdale has big changes in store for the Silverdale Boat Ramp and Silverdale Waterfront Park facilities.

The port plans to take down the two existing mobile homes it purchased to make way for changes near the boat ramp on McConnell Avenue. A new restroom facility, an observation platform and a picnic area will take the place of the mobile home on the west side of the street and a parking lot with seven parking spaces will replace the mobile home on the east side. The demolition of the buildings is expected to begin on Monday.

The total cost of the entire project is approximately $387,228. Sixty-seven percent of that cost will be covered by money from boater’s gas tax which is put into the state’s Boating Facilities Program grant fund. The remaining 33 percent will be covered by the port.

“Everything keeps growing. It will be nice to get these projects in,” Port Commissioner Harry Knapp said.

Port officials are hoping to obtain the final construction permits in August. Within the boat ramp circle there also will be 12 new parking spaces added with a wash area for boats.

The county Parks and Recreation Department has its own plans to improve Waterfront Park by adding 108-feet of head-in parking on Washington Avenue. That will help alleviate some of the parking issues with nearby businesses along Byron Street.

Another problem the port has is when it’s low tide and boaters can’t get in or out of the boat ramp, forcing them to go elsewhere or hang out for hours until tide conditions improve.

Port officials are hoping to solve this problem by dredging out into the Dyes Inlet for the first time since 1995. Due to environmental factors, the dredging can only be done between July 15 and Aug. 30 which will take place in 2005.

To make Silverdale a more attractive spot for boaters, there’s plans to demolish and rebuild the restroom facilities located at Waterfront Park by adding a pair of unisex showers and laundry facilities.

“In the past, boaters have told us that the Silverdale Port is more of a destination place because of the location and have said they would like showers and washing machines,” port attorney Phil Best said. “We will try to figure out a way to make it so only boaters will have access to the showers and laundry room.”

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