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Published on Friday, January 25, 2013

Derelict vessel bill needs review on potential new costs to cities

HB 1245, which seeks to strengthen the state’s derelict vessel program, includes a lot of ideas that cities may like and a few that may be of significant concern. It is up for a hearing at 10am on January 29 in the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee.

One concerning element is a provision that would require local governments to dispose of deteriorated or high-risk vessels. The cost of a single vessel demolition can be in the millions. Even with the existing 90-percent reimbursement from the state (pending fund availability), deconstructing a single vessel could cost a local government hundreds of thousands of dollars. We need feedback on whether this provision is as concerning as it first appears. Please send your comments to Carl Schroeder.