Public Works still working on pier


The city of Malibu, undecided about whether to offer to take over Malibu Pier from the state, may now be leaning toward leaving the landmark in the state’s hands.

The pier was closed in 1997, and Alice’s Restaurant, the tackle shop and the fishing boat have been out of business since then.

The city’s consultants, hired to examine the potential deal and make recommendations, recently recommended that the city “reconsider” its intentions to take over the pier.

The state Parks and Recreation Department told the consultant last September it had appropriated $900,000 for fiscal year 1998-99 to repair and renovate the pier. Construction was scheduled to begin this month and would be completed by the end of the year, the consultant was told.

Before that, according to a report by consulting firm Williams-Kuebelek & Associates, Inc., “The city had been negotiating with the state and the County of Los Angeles with a view to the city entering into a 30-year operating agreement with the state to renovate and reopen the pier and to operate and maintain the pier.”

The consultants recommended that the city “reconsider its intention of taking over the pier and assuming all responsibilities for improving, operating and maintaining it.” Instead, they suggest, the city might consider using the state and county funds ($850,000 – $1,020,000) to help the state improve the pier, rather than spending an estimated $2,900,000 to renovate it on its own.

According to the city’s new Public Works Director, Charles Bergson, the Public Works Commission will recommend to the City Council April 12 that the city continue its negotiations with the state. Bergson, a registered civil engineer, said a sinking fund for maintenance would be a critical element in the deal.