Dock overhaul could displace charter captains

Posted at 10:28 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-07 22:56:58-04

NAPLES, Fla -- The Naples City Dock is in line for a massive overhaul, but charter captains are worried the project could leave them high and dry.

Some charter captains are trying to figure out how they will operate this spring, when the entire dock is rebuilt.

"I have three charter boats, there's many other guys there with boats, and sailboats and fishing boats, that are going to be out of business, so we're just hoping the city will try and accommodate us in some way, to keep us operating," said Gene Luciano, who owns Dalis charters.

But Luciano, who's run his business for 45 years, knows progress has a price and the dock has run its course.

"It just needs to be replaced, it's old, it's worn it's tired, it looks dreary."

The project includes a new permanent pier, floating slips and fuel station.
Harbormaster Roger Jacobson is worried the current facility couldn't handle a tidal surge, especially after a piling snapped during last weeks storms.
"This wasn't even a named tropical storm or hurricane, and that's the kind of damage that we did incur."
The overhaul could take 6 months, during that time Luciano's company will need a temporary home.
An option could be sitting right across from the pier, an old dock on private land.
"That would be wonderful, that would be awesome because then we would be in the same location and there is some decent parking there and we could operate."
The price tag for the project is $5 million.  The city is still in negotiations with the family that owns the land across from the dock.