Steamboat Jean problem solved | Go back

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This story appeared in the August 31, 1976 edition of the Lewiston Tribune.

The Steamboat Jean, intended for more than a year to be towed from Portland to Lewiston, will be able to weigh anchor in a few weeks.

Lewiston City Council and the Steamboat Jean Committee resolved a sticky money issue Monday night that kept the paddle steamer docked in Portland for much longer than expected.

Or, as City Councilor A. Fred Hansen said on Monday night:

“Let’s get her up here before she turns into a submarine.”

Hansen was referring to Jean having a barnacle rash on his butt and the possibility that some of his steel plates might need to be replaced.

To speed up repairs and get to Lewiston, council voted a direct grant of $ 5,000 out of $ 100,000 in 1975, funds from the Community Development Act being reallocated.

The outright grant motion was brought forward by City Councilor Delitha Kilgore, who said she preferred this to negotiating a loan with the Steamboat Jean committee, which had already been discussed.

Council had to transfer $ 100,000 of the 1975 CDA allocation that was made to the Lindsay Creek Sewer Interceptor Project. The reallocation came about when the state of Idaho said it was withdrawing from its own share of the project any federal money used by the town of Lewiston.

The council intended to invest $ 100,000 in the design of a new water filtration plant, but decided to limit it to $ 95,000 in order to help the Jean project.

The financial crisis developed two weeks ago when the only bid to refurbish the Jean’s hull and paint it was $ 14,670. The committee only had the $ 12,000 previously allocated from CDA funds.

This amount was increased to $ 16,500 when the steamboat committee agreed to pay $ 4,500 which it has held since June 1975. This money, which was originally a gift of $ 5,000 from Western Transportation of Portland, was being held back to pay necessary expenses when John arrives here and is placed in a temporary berth pending completion of a permanent docking by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The additional $ 5,000 approved Monday night will cover the renovation by Marineways of Portland, the towing to Lewiston, as well as all insurance and other costs associated with the towing.

However, it will not cover the cost of the mooring which will include the utility lines.

A prospect of further financial assistance in the future was presented to the board on Monday evening by Joseph Icenhower, director of the Clearwater Project of the Resource, Conservation & Development Agency of the Soil Conservation Service.

Funding may be available from the resource agency as it is licensed to “work with water recreation,” Icenhower told the board.

He presented Mayor Richard J. Adams with the necessary application forms.

Tom Cunningham, co-chair of the Steamboat Jean committee, reported to the board on an inspection trip he took to Portland last week. He showed photographs of Jean at the Marineways wharf awaiting his first bottom lift.


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