Coast News News Pismo Beach

Timber! Own a Piece of History

The Pismo Beach Pier is for sale, at least pieces of it. The City of Pismo Beach is selling 60,000 square feet of salvaged wood from the pier in an effort to raise funds for the structure’s rehabilitation, as well as to share a bit of history for those interested. After several inquiries from citizens concerning what the city planned on doing with the removed wood, officials decided to make the pieces available for purchase.

Ben Fine, director of public works and city engineer for Pismo Beach, said that there is no official estimate on the amount of money the fundraiser may yield, but half a million would be a pleasing result.

“We don’t know what the demand will be, it’s an 8 million dollar project, almost $9 million project,” said Fine, “If we could raise $500,000, we would be happy.”

The city may indeed reach Fine’s financial hopes and possibly surpass them. The popularity of the idea was evident on the first day of the sale when a line of cars stretched down Frady road filled with drivers wanting to take advantage of the unique offer. Thursday alone, the city sold 850 sq/ft of pier.

“There was a line of cars to the baseball diamond at 3:30 when we closed,” said Bill Haas, public facilities manager of Pismo. “We had to bring them all inside the gate. We were loading wood into cars until 5 0’clock.” Haas also said that there were parties interested in purchasing large amounts of wood, but they had not worked out the logistics of moving the wood once purchased.

The city would like to remind people that they are not cutting the wood on sight.

“A guy in a Z car wanted us to load one of these in his car,” said Haas, indicating a 12-foot plank. There may be smaller pieces available, but the city recommends that buyers be prepared to haul away whole planks. Keep in mind also that this event will last for months as the wood from the pier is removed in sections, and not all at once.

The pricing for the timber varies with amount purchased starting at $7.50 per foot and going as low as $0.71 per foot. There is a $15 minimum donation being asked from participants. Portions sold will date back as far as 1924 when the landmark was first constructed. The pieces will be sorted by date, so customers can choose earlier or later pieces while supplies last. The plank sizes are 12 inches wide and 3 inches thick.

If you want to be part of the pier rehabilitation there are several ways to contribute. “We also have a bench sponsorship program; adopt a bench, adopt a table, adopt a light,” said Fine. For those interested, the city is also making available “golden hammers” similar to the ones used in the ground breaking ceremony for sell that will be mounted onto portions of the pier. There will also be acrylic coasters and other items of historical and sentimental interest available for purchase.

The items will be sold as available and on a first-come-first-serve basis and the city states that it does not have the capability to hold or pre-sell merchandise. Interested parties will have to journey to the Pismo Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant, located 550 Frady Lane, Pismo Beach, between the hours of 2:30 pm – 3:30 on Thursdays and Fridays. New planks will be delivered weekly for distribution, according to the city’s website. Patrons may only use credit cards or checks to make purchases.

For more information, visit; http://www.pismobeach.org/746/Pismo-Pier-Rehabilitation or call the Pismo Beach Engineering Division (805) 773-4656.

California Proposition 65: WARNING: Drilling, sawing, sanding, or machining wood products generates wood dust, a substance known in the State of California to cause cancer. Avoid inhaling wood dust or use a dust mask or other safeguards for personal protection. CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE – SECTION 25249.6.

By Mark A. Diaz

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