The City of Morro Bay acknowledged being awarded a sizable grant to repair its North T-pier, after the president signed into law a huge spending package.
The City said it had been awarded a $1.5 million grant as part of the $1.7 trillion 2023 Omnibus spending bill that President Joe Biden signed into law while vacationing in the Virgin Islands.
Indeed, eyebrows were raised when it was revealed the 4,155-page bill had been specially flown out to where the president and family were vacationing in St. Croix, so he could immediately sign it into law.
But no matter how the bill came to be signed, Morro Bay will get a chunk of it after local Congressman Salud Carbajal put the request into the spending package.
Congressman Carbajal touted the money as needed to help the City prepare for the needs of the companies that won leases to an offshore area for a major wind energy facility.
The Federal Government wants to erect floating wind turbines totaling some 3 gigawatts of generating capacity, and then bring the power ashore — potentially to the Morro Bay Power Plant to connect with the state power grid.
The new Mayor was hopeful about the money. “The [North] T-Pier project will ensure safety in and around Morro Bay Harbor for our fishing industry, our citizens, and our visitors,” Mayor Carla Wixom said. “The project will also enhance the local and regional economic benefits provided by the T-Pier and harbor.”
But the money will cover only part of what the City has said it needs to fix the World War II-era T-pier. The City estimated the project at $3.8 million and would replace old and broken pilings, electrical outlets and the pier’s fire suppression system.
What’s next? “Next steps in the funding process,” the City said, “include working with the Federal Government on a funding agreement and developing plans for the project.”
The City also expects to meet sometime soon with the three companies that won leases for the proposed wind farms to find out what facilities they’ll need to support their operations.