Repair estimates for boat ramp in Sabine Pass increase almost $1M

Published 12:40 am Saturday, July 9, 2022

Matthew Trevino was in Sabine Pass Friday morning preparing his boat at 4 Pier Boat Launch as he often does.

It’s a place that’s been widely discussed lately as anglers are incurring damage to their boats due to the damaged ramps.

“I don’t have much of a problem with it, but I have seen people with fiberglass boats, and it scratches them up pretty good,” the Port Neches resident said. “(Repairing the launch) is definitely worth it and would help a lot.”

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And that has been the plan since the city received a grant in 2019 through the Teas Parks and Wildlife Harvey Fisheries Grant worth $1,264,692.

Cheniere Energy has also pledged $125,000 to the project.

But in total, that amount is no longer enough to cover repairs.

4 Pier Boat Launch in Sabine Pass will undergo repairs following grant money made available in 2019.

“In February or March we hired an engineer to get started on the design and that’s complete,” said City Engineer John Cannatella. “We’re going to be going out for bids for this project. But what I’ve run into is that we’re short on funding for this project.”

The intent is to rehab and redo three boat ramps, rebuild the bulkhead, add a fish-cleaning table and install protective devices offshore that prevent commercial vehicles from damaging the ramps, he said.

However, with engineering costs estimated at $167,600 and construction estimated at $2,200,518, the project is now short $978,426. Cannatella has asked the city to provide the additional funds.

“It was budgeted in 2019, so I would attribute most of it to inflation over the four-year period,” Cannatella said. “It’s definitely materials. But one of the things that’s expensive about this project is the contractor will have to work off of a barge … that adds to the cost, also.”

City Manager Ron Burton said there are two options to approach funding.

“We could look at the general fund and look at the fund balance to see where it can be accommodated in this current financial year,” Burton said. “Or we could put it as part of the capital improvement program for the next financial year.”

The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and the city is currently in the budgeting phase. However, the funds from the TPW grant expire in May.

“There’s some urgency to this,” Cannatella said, adding he would have the issue added to the agenda for the next regular council meeting.

“Sabine Pass is about to grow,” said Councilman Cal Jones. “We need to get ready to start spending money in Sabine Pass. That’s a good place to invest our money.”