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"City, port, move closer on marina"

"Like a couple of shy teenagers going out on their first date, the Port of South Whidbey and City of Langley are beginning get together on a project.It isn't even at the hand holding stage yet, but at least the front door is open. City Councilman Ray Honerlah attended Wednesday night's port meeting and said he favors a joint working committee to look into building a marina in Langley.At present Langley has the Small Boat Harbor for transient moorage, but it offers no facility where islanders can moor their boats. Most South Whidbey boats are on trailers in driveways; people with larger boats moor them in Oak Harbor, Everett or elsewhere.Honerlah told the port commissioners that the council discussed the marina issue at a workshop last month. It wasn't just a marina they were talking about. The city could also work with the port on such ideas as lengthening the fishing pier on the existing breakwater or improving the Langley boat ramp.There's not anyone here against it, responded port Commissioner Gene Sears. But it's so far out of reach. He was referring to preliminary cost estimates for a marina, which the port commissioners discussed at their own recent workshop. We're running a household budget. We're not Boeing, Sears said.However, port consultant Tom Roehl suggested a marina should not be ruled out this early in the process, and he offered to attend the next Langley council workshop to discuss the issue. The port is updating its comprehensive plan, and a Langley marina is likely to be included in the list of possible projects. A public hearing will be held before the plan is adopted.The city council's next workshop is Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 3 p.m. at City Hall.Mayor Lloyd Furman said Friday that he supports working the the port to study the marina idea, but warned against high expectations. It'll be a long process, Furman said. But if you don't start you'll never get there. "

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