Sea Lion Dock and Bayfront Tsunami Dock Foundation representative Bob Ward was back before the Newport City Council Monday night seeking more funds for two tourist projects his group is spearheading on the Bayfront.
Ward said the Sea Lion Dock at Port Dock 5 is going to cost them a bit more money than they planned for and so they need a little more from the city. Plus they’ve launched a new project which involves sawing off another corner of the Japanese Tsunami Dock that remains at McLean Point out the Bay Road. They want to place it at Undersea Gardens on the Bayfront with tsunami evacuation instructions on it so visitors will know which way to run if there is a major local earthquake. Ward said it’s also opportunity to create yet another tourist draw for the Bayfront, even if it’s a lot less than we saw last summer at Agate Beach where the dock came ashore last June. He said his group has been told by the port to get the piece sawed-off before April 1st, because come April 1st the rest of the dock must be removed from port property.
However, Mayor Sandra Roumagoux reminded Ward that the deadline for applying for funds for tourism related facilities has long passed and that he should redouble his group’s efforts to raise more money from Bayfront businesses and other potential donors. Ward replied that the recession has trimmed Bayfront business profits making it difficult for them to help with the project much more than they already have.
The council backed Mayor Roumagoux on her advice to Ward and then awarded his group the $50,000 they originally applied for to help build a permanent Sea Lion Dock and viewing deck at Port Dock 5.