Dakota restoration crew holds first meeting
About 15 people interested in the proposed restoration of the Dakota, a 72-foot fishing vessel built in Blaine in 1944, met officially for the first time Tuesday evening to discuss the boat�s potential future.
Lead by Blaine community development director Terry Galvin and Blaine resident Jan Hrutfiord, the group brainstormed ideas for the boat, as well as the Dakota Fisheries facilities on Marine Drive. The main concept discussed involved the transformation of the boat, dock and building into a museum/attraction site detailing the fishing and nautical history of the Blaine community and its people. What exactly the attraction would include � whether it be a restaurant, educational facility or even a floating hostel � will be discussed later. For now, officials want to get a sense of the level of commitment and feasibility.
�In order for this to work, this project needs to be community-based,� Galvin said, adding the city can support it in some ways, but not financially. �We need to establish if there is a level of commitment. Should we move forward with this project?�
Those attending the meeting agreed there was interest, and said there would likely be more throughout the community.
If a list of people who worked on the Dakota was established, Jerry Amundson said, many of them would be interested in helping out.
The restoration idea has been pondered for two years by Galvin and Hrutfiord, and came to light recently as the boat�s fishing license was sold, which means the vessel cannot perform any fishing activities, including sport fishing.
The Dakota spent years bottomfishing in Alaska, but also sailed off the coast of California tuna fishing, and even unsuccessfully attempted crabbing one year.
A second meeting to discuss defined project alternatives has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Dakota Fisheries on Marine Drive.
For more information, call Terry Galvin at 332-8311 or email TGalvin@cityofblaine.com.