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Residents should pay for pier improvements
In the Nov. 8 Herald, the listed data concerning the pier at Indianola are correct. However, the improvements, such as the widening of the pier to accept vehicular traffic and the necessarily piling bents and the superstructure, were made by the Black Ball Line and are not stated.
The State of Washington took ownership of the ferry system and maintained the pier and ferry slip until abandonment of the service.
The Indianola Port Commission narrowed the walkway and, over time, removed the remaining roadway planking, retaining the existing piling and connecting structure.
Conduit and wiring were installed the length of the pier. A light fixture was placed as a navigation aid; a red lamp was placed. There was a small covered shed, remaining from the ferry service, at the end of the pier.
Both the light fixture and the shed were destroyed by vandals.
A gate was placed at the entrance of the pier to prohibit the entrance of dogs. This, also, was destroyed by vandals. Dogs continue to deposit their feces on the walkway as a regular event.
There is no dock at Indianola. There is no provision for a vessel dock at the Indianola pier.
The inhabitants of Indianola have something left to them by the original land development company and the Black Ball Ferry Line.
Your editorial concerning the Indianola pier begets questions. What is the extent of the present Indianola Port District? What are its boundaries? How is the district divided into, apparently, three subdistricts? How many taxpaying units are there in the district?
The cost of replacement of creosoted wood piling with an acceptable substitute would be very great. There is no reason to provide fodder for vandals.
How large a tax assessment must there be to allow the Port Commission to do the necessary present and future maintenance of the pier? Would the taxpaying populace accept such a tax?
I do not believe that the federal nor state government should grant any money for the now or future maintenance of the Indianola pier. Government would have to borrow to conduct such beneficence.
If the locals want it, the locals should pay for it.
Earle L. Willey
Editor’s note: Technically, the Indianola dock, as it is locally known, is a pier. A dock is defined as “a structure extending alongshore or out from the shore into a body of water, to which boats may be moored.” A mooring float is located seasonally at the end of the Indianola pier for short-term tie-up. Port commissioners are elected by all voters in the general election, but must live in the districts from which they are elected. The Port District’s boundaries are roughly: the Indianola shoreline in the south, Miller Bay and the Miller Bay sandspit in the west, a portion of Miller Bay Estates in the north. The eastern boundary is about a three-quarter mile east of Jefferson Beach.