Work may soon begin on Fish Point Wharf in Freeport.
Steve Bornais, spokesperson with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has confirmed Small Craft Harbours let a tender for repairs to the wharf and that tender closed Nov. 8.
Three companies submitted bids on the project. Acadia Marine and Diving bid $136,995; Tri County Construction bid $395,000; and Connors Diving bid $213,868.
As of press time, Monday, Nov.19, Small Craft Harbours had not awarded the tender.
Bornais says work will begin on repairing the outer steel H-piles in early December.
Fishermen forced a meeting with Small Craft Harbours just five days before the start of the lobster season a year ago.
The government had barricaded Fish Point wharf, saying the structure was unsafe.
Fishermen moved the barricade out of the way for the start of the lobster season at the end of November.
Gary Hubbard, Southwest area chief with Small Craft Harbours, met with fishermen and committed to either repair Fish Point wharf or dredge the channel into South Cove wharf.
South Cove Wharf is the main wharf in Freeport but is too small for all the gear needed on dumping day in Freeport and it is not accessible at low tide because of a ledge blocking the harbour entrance.
“This causes hardship for our fishermen and there have been many instances when vessels attempting to gain access to their home port have run aground on the ledge,” say Karen Crocker, harbour manager in Freeport. “Our harbour authority has been actively seeking the dredging of this passage for over 20 years.”
Without the dredging, Crocker says they need to use Fish Point Wharf.
Hubbards expected to have a plan to present to fishermen by early January 2012.
The Freeport Harbour Authority never received a plan from Hubbards and wrote to their municipal councillor, David Tudor, in September looking for help.
“We have written and had several meeting with Small Craft Harbours requesting this work be completed but our requests to date have not been granted,” says Crocker.
Small Crafts and Harbours told the Courier they had hoped to meet with the harbour authority before going to tender “but project approval took longer than anticipated”.
The lobster season in LFA 34 begins Nov. 26.