Friday, February 7, 2014

POLB Won’t Oust Fishing Business, Eateries

By Mark Edward Nero

A plan to add a new fireboat station and security facility at the Port of Long Beach won’t require displacement of a recreational fishing business and two eateries after all, the port announced Feb. 5. An analysis has found suitable alternative locations for the development of new firefighting and security facilities within the port, allowing the Berth 55 Fish Market & Seafood Deli, Queen’s Wharf Restaurant, Long Beach Sportfishing and charter boats based at Berth 55 to remain in their current locations, According to the POLB.

“Our study found that we can meet the port’s security and fire-protection infrastructure needs without asking the Berth 55 businesses to relocate,” the port’s Acting Executive Director, Al Moro, said. “And we’ve already established temporary facilities for Fire and Police operations displaced by the new bridge construction.”

The fireboat station is a replacement for Fire Station No. 20, which was in the path of the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project. The security facility would serve port-based Long Beach Police Department officers.

In 2012, the port proposed placing a combined fire station/security facility at what is technically known as “Berth C55,” but agreed to reassess after the community questioned the need to displace the businesses there.

Despite the good news for some port-based businesses however, Long Beach maintains that other locations will have to undergo further environmental scrutiny to assess their suitability, and until that is complete, a final decision can’t be made on the locations for the new facilities.