Port plans IGA with Coos Bay for dredging

Dredging project on hold until agreement is signed

Dec. 3, 2019 — The Port of Siuslaw Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 2, to discuss the acceptance of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the International Port of Coos Bay.

The agreement is the final step in the process of contracting with the Port of Coos Bay to begin dredging the dock and slip areas of the Port of Siuslaw Marina. The project has been delayed for years due to a lack of funding and the availability of the equipment needed to accomplish the overdue dredge work needed to keep the port navigable.

Port Manager David Huntington briefly recapped the steps taken to get to this stage of the project, which is set to begin in the water as soon as port commissioners approve the IGA.

“What you guys would be allowing me to do is to sign this IGA between the Port of Siuslaw and the International Port of Coos Bay. I had a few questions that I sent to our lawyer and he said we should go with it,” Huntington said. “He said we could dicker back and forth between attorneys and possibly make a few changes to it, but there was nothing that he felt was serious enough that we needed to do that.”

However, commissioners expressed a number of concerns regarding the language of some of the requirements and contingencies included in the agreement.

These questions were reinforced by John Murphey of Coast Insurance Services Inc., the insurance agent for the port. The wording of the IGA was discussed as Murphey raised issues that were primarily cautionary in nature.

“They are talking about workman’s comp here and I feel that should be stricken from the IGA,” he said. “They are acting like they want to add their employees to our workman’s comp, and we can’t do that. Before you sign this IGA I would like the opportunity for Commissioner (Craig) Zolezzi, Dave and I to get on the phone together and talk to the special district about that.”

These issues may be easily clarified, according to Murphey and Zolezzi, who is also familiar with insurance related matters.

Huntington also clarified information about the ownership of the equipment to be used and who has the legal authority to operate the dredge.

“The State of Oregon actually owns the dredge and we are paying their wages. We have to pay their insurance. During this operation, we will be around, and we may have to assist,” he said. “Business Oregon will set up an escrow account and they will do all of the accounting, as well as disperse the funds once the project is completed. The way it works with Coos Bay, they do not profit from the project. They will only charge us for cost of the work and will return any money that does not get used.”

The dredging of the Port will take approximately 24 days and should be begin soon after the call to clarify the insurance related issues is made. The final cost to the Port of Siuslaw for the work to be done will be approximately $200,000.


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