Money and Business

Officials seek new ways to ease cost of Avila Beach Pier project

Project estimated to cost upwards of $10 million

Officials seek new ways to ease cost of Avila Beach Pier project

AVILA BEACH, Calif. - Memories at the pier remain under a lock and key as a majority of the Avila Beach Pier is still closed after nearly two years.

"Make [the repairs] happen quicker," says Gary Brundage Jr. who walks his dogs by the pier every day. 

"It's a major attraction so it was kind of a bummer seeing it was in shambles like that and that they had to close it," says Karynnah Wells, who frequents the beach. 

But has it been bad for the surrounding businesses? A majority of the store managers we asked said no.

"I have not seen any impact from the closure of the pier," Mary Ann Bretz, owner of Reimer's Candies tells us.

Bretz has owned her candy store in Avila Beach for eight years. She says Mother Nature has been more responsible for slow days. "If it rains, people do not come - if it's sunny and beautiful and beach weather, it's absolutely crazy here."

Port San Luis Harbor District officials say they're unclear when construction will begin. They recently had a feasibility study done by a company in Santa Barbara to provide insight on how to best repair the pier.

"One of the recommendations was to look at the potential of re-sizing the pier to make it a more manageable amount to replace," explains Harbor Manger Andrea Lueker. 

Under that plan, the rehabilitation will cost around $10 million. Harbor officials are working on creating a non-profit organization called "Friends of the Avila Pier," to help raise some of those funds. 

"We'll be working with that group - and we're still finding board members for that group - to work on some fundraising aspects as well as looking for grants, state and federal grants, potential funds from the district," Lueker says. 

To learn more about harbor district and how to get involved with the fundraising, click here.

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