Cruise ship tax projects proceeding

While an extension of the Homer Spit Trail and construction of the Deep Water Dock Trail are two of the major projects using cruise ship tax revenues starting this construction season, several other projects also are being done. This week, contractors started installation of ship fenders at the Deep Water Dock, a $2 million project. Also in the works are these projects:

• Restrooms, a guard house and a waiting area at the base of the Deep Water Dock;

• Paving of the parking and staging area at the dock;

• New public restrooms in downtown Homer, and

• Kittiwake gull deterrence and cleanup on the dock.

“They’re really impressive,” Homer City Manager Walt Wrede said of the big fenders at the Deep Water Dock. “They’ll last a long time and provide better protection for the dock than we have now.”

The city is advertising now for bids on the Deep Water Dock and other bathrooms. The paving project will be combined with repaving of several roads in the downtown area to be done later this construction season.

Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins said a plan is being developed to deter seagulls from nesting on the Deep Water dock. One idea had been to install netting, but that could trap birds. Other ideas being explored are spikes to discourage them from nesting. The city is consulting with experts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture animal, plant and wildlife services, Hawkins said. Work won’t be done until the fall and after seagulls have nested. The cruise ship tax money also pays for power brushing and sweeping equipment to clean the dock before cruise ship visit.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at