The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

MH Money May Be Left Out of City Budget

I've received word that Seattle City Councilmember Richard McIver, who chairs the budget committee, has decided not to include the city's contribution of $150,000 in the 2007-2008 city budget, despite weeks of impassioned pleas by maritime heritage supporters. He apparently believes the city should not contribute its share of seed money to create a heritage shipyard on Lake Union. The reason behind his decision is unclear.

If this decision is confirmed by the whole council, the consequences will be enormous and far-reaching. No shipyard means that our historic vessels will continue to deteriorate and will eventually have to leave the Historic Ships Wharf at South Lake Union Park. SLUP will be an anemic shell with empty slips, wasting the money and sweat investments of many years.

Furthermore, loss of this money will make further fundraising extremely difficult, because it sends a message to other funders that Seattle is not interested in saving its maritime heritage. For example, a failure by the city to participate means the loss of a $400,000 state matching grant dedicated to the shipyard project.

City councilmembers are expected to make final budget decisions within days. McIver's direct phone number is (206) 684-8800, e-mail You can also find contact info for all other city councilmembers at Time is of the essence.


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