City-Poly Ink New Dock Deal

Written by Estero Bay News

August 11, 2023

Ongoing experiments in vessel hull fouling and marine paints will continue after the Morro Bay City Council approved a new lease with Cal Poly for use of a small area at the North T-pier.

For many years a Cal Poly research project has been done using a small floating dock moored on the inside area of the North T-pier. The float mainly tests the durability of paints used to maintain the bottom of boats. It sits in an area that isn’t in high demand by fishermen, for whom the City reserves use of the T-piers and its slips.

Harbor Director Ted Schiafone asked the council to approve a 2-year agreement with Cal Poly to continue the testing and will have the authority to extend it for 2-more years, twice (total of 6 years). And he’s even managed to wrangle a little more money out of the deal too.

“The expiring License Agreement with Cal Poly,” Schiafone said, “is $4,637.04/year [$386.42/month], while the proposed new agreement is for $6,570.00/year [$547.50/month (adjusted for inflation)]. As is the existing rate, the new rate is based on the current T-Pier daily rate.”

The Harbor Department’s main source of revenue is from lease payments — both water and land leases — and dockage (slip fees and T-pier fees), plus a few other relatively minor sources. 

Schiafone said the City-Cal Poly agreement on this facility dates back to 2006 and the last official agreement was signed in 2019, and must be renewed every 2 years. 

Also of note, the new agreement gives Cal Poly the authority to stop any vessels from tying up to their float, in essence giving the college exclusive use of that small area. Boats that are tied to the T-piers sometimes get side-tied to by other boats especially when the harbor is crowded with visiting fishing boats.

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