Strong local support for Cayucos Pier

As citizens work to raise funds, agencies at county, state and federal levels should do what’s necessary to fund reconstruction

letters@thetribunenews.comJuly 11, 2013 

The Cayucos Pier is in need of repair. Beneath the woman in the green dress, the pier sags where pilings are missing. A pigeon can be seen standing atop a piling that should be topped with a beam.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

At this point, there’s not much sense in shaking a collective fist at the powers that be who allowed the Cayucos Pier to deteriorate to such a degree that it’s now partially closed.

Not only that, the pier may require a complete reconstruction that will cost in the neighborhood of $2 million.

Suffice it to say that both the state, which owns the pier, and the county, which manages it, should have done a better job maintaining the pier and setting aside funds for major repairs.

What’s more, it isn’t just the Cayucos Pier that’s in bad shape; we’re told the San Simeon Pier also is in need of repair, and there may be similar issues with other small piers along the California coast.

The Cayucos Pier is not a lost cause.

County officials are trying to raise funds for its restoration by tapping into various federal and state grants for recreation, transportation and environmental causes. There’s also a chance that the Federal Emergency Management Agency could allocate funds available to help protect structures that are likely to fail in a natural disaster.

The county is more likely to qualify for grant funding if there’s a strong showing of community support.

No worries there; the response from members of the Cayucos community has been amazing. Members of service organizations and individuals concerned about the pier have formed a committee, The Cayucos Pier Project. Over the Fourth of July weekend, the committee raised $28,000 in three days by selling T-shirts and collecting donations.

The group — which has set a goal of raising at least $100,000 for the cause — met on Tuesday night to plan other fundraising efforts.

It agreed to “sell” planks and posts for the new pier; prices are tentatively set at $1,000 and $5,000. Donors will have their names inscribed in plaques on the new pier. The committee also plans to hold an annual fundraising event, though it hasn’t determined what, or when, that will be.

Anything raised in excess of $100,000 will be set aside for future maintenance of the pier. That’s an excellent idea — one the county and/or the state of California should have thought of many years ago.

Piers are, after all, quintessential and historical symbols of the California coast, as well as great recreational facilities. It’s time to stop taking them for granted.

We applaud the Cayucos Pier Project for its fine work. We strongly urge agencies at every level — county, state and federal — to do everything in their power to the save the Cayucos Pier.

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