2006-08-17 / News

Harbor commissioners give go-ahead to curbs-and-rails project

By Sam Bari

Plans were changed and schedules were adjusted, but the harbor commissioners gave the go-ahead to begin the bidding process on the four-year-old curbs-and-rails project for the cement pier at East Ferry Marina.

Todd Turcotte, project engineer and principal of RT Group, Inc. of East Providence, consultants hired by the town to assist Town Engineer and Assistant Public Works Director Michael Gray, presented the plans for the concrete pier project at last week's meeting of the Harbor Management Commission.

Commissioner Bob Bowen, chairman of the commission's Facilities Committee, has been working with Turcotte and his associates as well as Gray for over a year to get the long-debated project under way.

"The drawings are 90 percent finished," Turcotte said during his Aug. 9 presentation. "We just need decisions made on a few items, and the project can go out for bid," he added.

Although most of the needed decisions concerned budget-driven considerations, they were quickly resolved. Four years ago, $90,000 was earmarked for the pierimprovement project. Since then, the cost has increased to approximately $150,000. The commissioners voted 4-0 to complete the drawings and put the project out for bid so work can begin this year at the end of the tourist season. The cost will then be split with part of the job being completed during fiscal 2005-06 and the remainder of the project being charged to the 2006-07 budget when more money is available.

Wooden pilings will be installed this fall, although the type of material used will be decided by the bidding process. Pressure-treated pine, composite, and green heart timber piers are all being quoted and considered. The concrete curbs will be installed next year provided the funds are in place for the project to be completed. Turcotte suggested accepting bids from one marine contractor and let the selected contractor handle the sub-bidding as needed.

In other business, the harbor commission:

+ Heard from its executive director, Police Chief Thomas Tighe, that the harbormaster will be issuing summonses to boats without mooring-permit stickers. The police chief is also recommending to the Town Council that non-resident stickers for non-resident mooring holders, particularly at Fort Getty. On the same subject, Commissioner Bowen suggested non-resident stickers at Heads Beach for the state easement. He said the price for non-resident stickers should be double that of resident stickers, a common practice throughout New England.

+ Learned that the Conservation Commission will support the building of boat and kayak racks at Fort Getty and Maple Avenue as needed.

+ Assigned new Commissioner Chris Lutyens to its Moorings Implementation and Facilities committees.

+ Transfered a mooring permit for John Malcom to his son Benjamin Malcom in Zone D with a 4-0 vote. The father had passed away.

+ Granted a request for an additional one-year grace period for the use of a mooring was granted to Phoebe Wharton. The request was made for medical reasons.

The Town Council issued a resolution pertaining to fishing, swimming and diving from town owned piers, floating docks, wharfs and jetties. The new rules are as follows:

+ Piers - No swimming or diving is allowed at the East Ferry concrete pier. Fishing is allowed only on the north face of the pier. Only fishing is allowed from the East Ferry wooden pier and West Ferry pier, with yielding to boaters. + Floating Docks - No swimming

or diving is allowed at the East Ferry touch-and-go docks (outside). Fishing is allowed with yielding to boaters. No more than 10 people can be on the dock at any one time. No fishing is allowed on the inside of the East Ferry touch-and-go dock, and no fishing is allowed at all on the West Ferry touchand-go dock.

+ Wharfs - No swimming or diving is allowed at the Fort Getty Dock. Fishing is allowed only off the north and west faces.

+ Jetties - No fishing is allowed on the north side of the Heads Beach jetty when swimmers are present.

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