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County pleased with boathouse swap deal

Larger boathouse acquired in exchange with Dillard's Moorage


by: SUBMITTED PHOTOS - At left, the larger boathouse Columbia County purchased from Dillard's Moorage in St. Helens to house its three marine patrol boats. At right, the smaller boathouse officially declared surplus and sold to Diane Dillard by order of the Board of County Commissioners Wednesday, March 5.Columbia County commissioners signed off on the last piece of a deal made last year to trade for a larger Sheriff's Office boathouse Wednesday, March 5.

The Board of Commissioners' move to declare the smaller boathouse transferred to Dillard's Moorage in St. Helens last year as surplus and sell it to Diane Dillard for $25,000 is the final, formal component of the exchange, according to County Commissioner Henry Heimuller. The county reached an agreement with Dillard last year to purchase the larger boathouse in St. Helens, while trading the old boathouse to the moorage company to offset the cost.

“Well, I owned a boathouse 70 feet long,” Dillard explained Thursday. “It was valued at $40,000. I sold it to the county for $30,000, because they needed a larger boathouse to house their two new marine patrol vessels. And in return, they gave me a boathouse, 25-foot-long, valued at $25,000, and they paid me $5,000 to make the transaction balance out.”

Heimuller said the deal was advantageous to both parties in the transaction.

“The little boathouse would only hold one of our boats before,” said Heimuller. As for the county's new boathouse, he added, “All three of our boats will fit into it at the same time.”

County officials sought a larger boathouse last year after receiving a state grant that allowed the Sheriff's Office to replace its older boats. Heimuller said both the State Marine Board and the county preferred to keep the new boats — acquired last spring, according to Lt. Dustin Hald with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office — in a shelter, where they would not be susceptible to vandalism or the elements.

“It ended up being a great deal, and our boats are out of the weather,” Heimuller said.

The $5,000 difference Columbia County paid to Dillard's Moorage for the larger boathouse was made up through the sale of other surplus property, such as old patrol cars, according to Heimuller.