Council will look at East Ferry piers
Town Councilors will visit East Ferry on Wednesday, April 18, at 10 a.m. to survey the pier system. The information gained from the trip will aid them when they discuss needs and costs for an expansion of the system.
The wood pile pier measured 167 feet when it was built with federal funds in 1974 for public outdoor recreation. It has been used to serve fishermen, strollers and transient recreational boaters. The town added 140 feet of pier in the 1980s, with no limits on types of users. A touch and go dock was added in the 1990s. The touch and go dock was funded with town, state and commercial money and is intended for shoreline access, pump out and commercial uses.
Although the wood pile pier is intended for public recreation, policy provides priority to commercial fishing boats that are supposed to use the town pier.
Figures reported last month show 196 feet of commercial boats and one 64-foot research boat needing a total of 290 feet of dock space. Also needing space but not clearly classified or assigned are commercial boats available for hire for recreation and some nonfishing commercial boats.
The limited space causes issues between boaters and fishermen, with each group claiming the other uses pier space not intended for them.