If Gary Coy, the owner of Sperry Ocean Dock, succeeds in building a berth for a couple more huge, gray ships near Schuster Parkway, it won’t be without a fight.
No one who has ever driven Schuster can possibly have missed the two 600-foot military transport vessels – both of them hulking and ugly as sin – that are parked more or less permanently at the dock. Coy wants to do an expansion that would bring in another one or two.
Coy came by last week (see Dave Seago’s post) to explain and defend. Today the opposition dropped in. This high-powered group included Brown & Haley CEO Pierson Clair, former PLU President Eugene Wiegman and five others – all of them residents of the neighborhood just upland of the dock.
Short take: They don’t like the oceangoing monsters that are already there, and certainly don’t want any more.
David Rietmann, CFO of U.S. Oil & Refining, went into the chemistry of the high-sulfur “hydrocarbon particulates” the ships’ engines occasionally dump on his property:
“That is acid rain in its most extreme form.”
An old Merchant Marine officer himself, Rietmann has no objection to the vessels per se. “These ships are just doing what ships do. The issue is just proximity to a neighborhood.”
The group suggested they belonged in an industrial, not a residential, area.
When Coy was in, I asked him: “Couldn’t you do submarines instead?”