The caretaker residence at Quilcene’s Herb Beck Marina will need to be moved due to landslide and flooding risks. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

The caretaker residence at Quilcene’s Herb Beck Marina will need to be moved due to landslide and flooding risks. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Quilcene marina loses caretaker

QUILCENE — The Herb Beck Marina no longer has a year-round caretaker.

The port terminated in late February the contract with Jim Speer, who had served as caretaker at the marina in Quilcene for more than 20 years — beginning before the port took over.

Starting this summer, the port will use moorage staff to monitor the marina during its busy summer months, then cut back on the number of staff during slower winter months, said port Executive Director Sam Gibboney.

“We’re in the process of developing a schedule,” she said.

The decision came after the caretaker’s home was found to be at risk of flooding or being damaged by a landslide, Gibboney said.

A culvert running behind the home was clogged earlier this year after a winter storm, and 14 feet of water quickly backed up behind the 18-foot embankment that protects the caretaker’s home, she said. Water was beginning to seep through.

The port had the site surveyed and decided it was no longer safe for habitation year-round, according to the port.

“The board determined it was not a manageable risk to have a full-time resident there,” Gibboney said.

The house itself, which is owned by the port, was surplussed, she said.

Because the house is also port property, Jim and Donna Speer will be evicted from the residence — unless they buy it and move it.

Gibboney said the post has given the couple the option of buying the home and moving it off the port property.

She said if the couple decides not to buy the home, the port hopes to find some other use for it.

According to Gibboney, the move doesn’t save the port any money in the long run but does get rid of the safety concerns about having a winter resident in the caretakers’ house.

________

Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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