BY COUNCILOR STOVER:
RESOLVED, that the proper city officers are hereby authorized to execute the request, a copy of which is on file in the office of the city clerk as Public Document No. __________, to the U.S. coast guard to discontinue operation of the diaphone type fog signal at the Duluth Harbor south breakwater outer light (USCG #15845).
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution is to authorize execution of a request that the U.S. coast guard approve the discontinuance of the city’s operation of the old diaphone fog horn, located on the south breakwater at the Duluth Harbor.
For a number of years the city has operated this fog horn under permit from the coast guard as a “private aid to navigation.” The coast guard, whose responsibility it is to operate the official aids to navigation, had discontinued the operation of the diaphone fog horn and had substituted what they had determined was a more modern and effective type of fog horn. Some private citizens and groups (such as “TOOT”) secured city council support to continue the operation of the old unit and so the city has operated the diaphone unit except between 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. when the coast guard operates its more modern fog signal. The most current permit was approved on November 5, 2002.
The diaphone foghorn controls necessarily overlap with the coast guard's controls for its own fog signal and detection equipment and introduce complications particularly when repairs need to be made to the coast guard equipment. They have asked the city to consider discontinuing the foghorn as a private aid to navigation. The city wants to cooperate. There is benefit to the city in doing so. Currently the city indemnifies the uscg from any claims that may result from negligence in the maintenance and operation of the foghorn. The discontinuance would eliminate that risk.
When the city discontinues operating the old fog horn, its functions will be fulfilled by the existing, modern fog signal equipment, operated by the coast guard on a 24/7 basis as needed. However, the city expects to continue to operate the diaphone horn as a tourist “attraction” at noon (and perhaps at other times) during the tourist season, a use which will not require a coast guard permit because it will not be considered a navigational aid. They will instead file a local notice to mariners to prevent any confusion.