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Gloucester City: Floating Docks Installed at Freedom Pier

By Bill Cleary

Finally after decades of promises there are some positive signs happening at the former Coast Guard Base, King Street and the Delaware River, Gloucester City.

The Coast Guard Base was vacated in 1987. And several yearsFloating_docks_002 later the federal government gave the deed to the City of Gloucester City.  And there the base has set for nearly 15 years.

Each election some politician running for office would announce a grandiose plan for the site but nothing much came of those promises but more development studies.

PHOTO: FLOATING DOCKS enlarge click.

This past week however the City installed floating docks, gangways and a loading platform on the pier. The docks will be used to tie up the City’s 65 foot sailing vessel, The North Wind, along with the Philadelphia base Flag Ship Charters. Plus this improvement will enable larger boats to safely dock at the pier.

Money to purchase the $30,000 docks came from a state improvement grant.

Earlier this month Mayor Bill James said, "The pier is one of our gems. We haven't used it, and were going to begin to use it. We're starting to take action, we're going to make things happen."


Several businesses and residents helped out with the installation donating their labor, knowledge and equipment. 

Tuesday the Mayor said, “Gloucester City is fortunate to have so many civic minded businesses and people that are willing to contribute to projects such as this. On behalf of the citizens of Gloucester City I like say thank you to all of you.”

Those involved included:  Lou Sarlo (photo above) and his son Lou Jr., Capt. Chuck Reed, who provided his maritime skills and leadership , John Schmidt who donated his labor, Barron Iron works,  Ferry Fence and employees from the City Water Department.

Last month the Planning Board and Zoning Board approved a resolution from the Gloucester City Historic Preservation Commission for 29 new homes to be built adjacent to the old Coast Guard Pier.

The resolution passed by the City Planning Board ensures that the new development will be constructed with historic architecture features including a mixture of historic-era looking siding and bricks.

The developer will still have to come before the board to receive variances for construction. One issue that is still undecided is whether or not the new homes will be powered by solar energy.

Related: Schooner Arrives  ......................Related: Video/CC Station Gloucester City