2007-05-03 / News

Committee discusses spending grant money for Ft. Getty

By Sam Bari

The Fort Getty Master Plan Committee, at their April 26 meeting, prioritized the spending of a $150,000 state Department of Environmental Management grant to which the town added $40,000. Chairperson Mary Meagher said that the money was not nearly enough to accomplish everything in the Fort Getty Master Plan, so it was important to spend it wisely.

Meagher said Fort Getty funds collected from other sources, not grant money, would be used to repair the septic system at the town owned park. Town Engineer Mike Gray had reported that a new tank was needed to make the repairs and that he put the project out to bid. The approximate cost of the repair had not yet been determined. Gray also said that he was talking to the Coastal Management Resources Council (CRMC) about the best location for the new tank.

Town Planner and Committee member Lisa Bryer reported that the CRMC said the five acres of town property across from the gatehouse does not fall in their jurisdiction, so the town is free to use the area for additional campgrounds and parking if they choose to do so. All agreed that developing the area was a good investment of grant money.

The committee discussed at length the idea of decreasing the number of transient RV sites in the near future, which would slightly increase the percentage of seasonal tenants. Although a firm decision was not made, the consensus was that it was a good idea.

Bryer said that she discussed the clearing of trees and brush from the five-acre area with Public Works Director Steve Goslee. He felt that the town would be better served by hiring a tree service with a chipper to clear away the trees and brush covering the property to prepare it for development. Meagher suggested that care be taken to leave buffers between park property and abutting neighbors as well as between the camping and parking area and the road to the park entrance.

Bryer then listed the projects that needed CRMC approval before they could be completed. She suggested it would be a prudent decision to establish where to install new bathrooms for the South Beach area, and to make a well defined parking plan. A tour of the park on May 8 was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. so committee members can see and discuss the options while they are together at the site.

Additionally, Bryer said that the reuse of Battery Whiting was high on the list of priorities. She said that a family pavilion between the battery and the seawall was suggested and that she thought a feasibility study would be appropriate. She also said that running the plans by Don Sharp, the landscape architect hired by the town as a consultant to help develop the master plan before presenting it to the CRMC was a good idea.

Meagher suggested the town also hold a competition for the redesign of the Rembijas pavilion to bring it up to code. She volunteered to draft a preliminary outline of the rules and requirements for a contest for the next committee meeting.

Committee member Pat Bolger asked if grant money could be used for pavilions and Bryer said, "I don't see why not."

Harbor Management Commission Chairman and committee member Michael de Angeli said that he got the okay from CRMC to dredge for the boat ramp. He also said that the need for better access to the water and an improved boat ramp were high priority items.

Cyndee Reppe, who handles the seasonal bookings for the recreation department, said the seasonal RV sites were booked from the third week of June to the weekend after Labor Day.

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