After nearly a half-century, Coos Bay Power Squadron searches for new home

The organization is looking for a new home after spending nearly 50 years at its current location in Charleston, March 20, 2018. (KCBY image)

CHARLESTON, Ore. -- The Coos Bay Power Squadron has provided boating safety and navigation classes for nearly half a century and now they're looking for a new home.

The group signed a lease with the Port of Coos Bay in 1969 for their current spot in Charleston.

"We took a 25-year lease with an option to renew,” explained Coos Bay Power Squadron’s Michael Gibbons. “We pay them $100 a year, which is basically nothing. They donated the land to us and we built the building. At the end of the lease, the ownership of the building goes to the Port."

And that lease is up in November.

Gibbons says they have not come to an agreement with the Port for renewal.

In negotiations with the Port, the now-vacant Boat Basin Café was offered as an alternative property for lease. The Squadron believes it would be a great location for their boating classes, but they said negotiations broke down.

"The problem is they want us to pay an exorbitant amount to repair the facilities before we can move in," said Gibbons, who says the cost for those repairs is $24,000.

"We're a non-profit organization and our annual income is about $6,000-$7,000. We just don't have the money to make the repairs to the building that, personally, we feel the Port should be doing those repairs on their own."

We reached out to the Port of Coos Bay to get their side of the story, but they declined to comment.

The Power Squadron continues to search for a new home to hold its classes starting in November.

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