Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a piece of legislation authored by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, that streamlines dredging services in the Ventura Harbor in a more timely and cost-efficient manner.

Assembly Bill 482 clears way for the Ventura Port District to utilize contractors for inner harbor dredging that have been selected through a federal competitive bidding project off the Coast of Ventura County.

“This bill just makes sense for the public and a small public agency with limited funds,” said Oscar Peña, general manager of the Ventura Port. “This [bill] will save the district a great deal of money by utilizing equipment already in the harbor.”

Maintenance dredging of the commercial and recreational harbor is essential to providing a safe and navigable water way for vessels. This bill will allow the Ventura Port District to utilize the dredging contractors competitively selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saving the district $750,000 to $950,000 in mobilization costs alone.

“This bill would essentially allow for one mobilization process for dredging instead of two on projects, allowing the local harbor district to use more efficient equipment and drastically cut costs,” Williams said. “This bill is becoming law with bipartisan support.”

Another bill that has been approved by the Legislature and awaiting Brown’s signature is AB 2488. This legislation would extend the allowable length of folding bike racks on buses owned and operated by Gold Coast Transit by 4 inches. That additional length would accommodate a rack that holds three bikes as opposed to two currently.

“This legislation addresses just one of the many needs of transit dependent people in the county,” Williams said. “Getting these bills signed into law continues the progress our state is making in the right direction.”

— James Joyce is a field representative of Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.