Clallam County still pursuing Slip Point transfer

Historic designation doesn’t matter, county commissioners are told

PORT ANGELES — Putting the Slip Point Light Station on the National Registry of Historic Places won’t create any unforeseen costs for the county and could be a help when applying for state and federal historic preservation grants, a state archeology department official told the Clallam County commissioners.

County Commissioner Mark Ozias said Monday that a letter of support for the designation will be on the commissioners’ consent agenda next week.

The historic designation is part of a 20-year process for transferring the 23.6-acre parcel from the U.S. Coast Guard to Clallam County.

The site includes the dilapidated light station and several outbuildings. One structure has been used by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

Don Crawford, county parks, fair and facilities director, said the U.S. Coast Guard already has said the lead and asbestos in the site’s buildings would be abated before the conveyance.

Mike Houser, state architectural historian, told commissioners at Monday’s work session that going through the national register process prior to conveyance won’t affect the process.

The Clallam County Courthouse has been listed on the register since 1987, he said.

The historic register designation comes with no strings attached, and the conveyance document will contain the conditions for transferring the property, Houser said.

Commissioner Randy Johnson asked what kind of modifications would be required once the property is listed on the national register.

“What other issues are there?” he asked. “Old facilities have issues. I wonder if it would survive a major windstorm. I haven’t surveyed property, so what about termites?”

Houser said the listing doesn’t mean anything, but it can be tied to future state and federal historic preservation grants.

The state’s maritime heritage program doesn’t have any funding, but a lot of grants are more accessible when the property is listed on the historic register, he said.

Crawford said the problem is the Coast Guard won’t convey the property without abating the lead and asbestos, but it needs funding for those abatements, Crawford said.

Johnson said after the discussion that he had no problem with the letter of support for the historic designation.

Houser said there’s an archaeological site on the property and maybe some burials there as well, so he doesn’t know the overall plans for the property.

Crawford said there’s considerable interest in this project in Clallam Bay.

“It’s important for us to go out of the way to engage them. Some neighboring landowners had concerns and there’s some specifics that need to be addressed before the conveyance,” he said.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@soundpublishing.com.

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