2007-06-21 / Front Page

Harbor panel finds only one acceptable mooring field site

By Sam Bari

The Harbor Management Commission, at their June 4 meeting, deliberated the pros and cons of Park Dock, Cranston Cove, and Heads Beach as potential mooring areas. After lengthy discussion, the commissioners voted 6-0, with Chairman Michael de Angeli abstaining, to draft a letter to the Town Council recommending Heads Beach as the only mooring area with potential for development.

Vice Chairman Andrew Kallfelz spearheaded the discussion of the mooring fields, which was an agenda item continued from last month's meeting. He emphasized the importance of responding to the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) request for the completion of the harbor management plan and bringing the plan into compliance.

Kallfelz said that the commission must discuss the potential mooring areas and make a decision concerning their status before the plan can be revised.

Chairman de Angeli agreed, and said that when the recommendation for the revised harbor plan is on the Town Council agenda, residents with concerns will have an opportunity to speak and be involved in the decision-making process.

During the discussion, the commissioners agreed that adequate shore-side facilities could not be developed that would support mooring fields at either Cranston Cove or Park Dock.

After debating the issue, Kallfelz motioned to form a Harbor Management Ordinance sub-committee to draft an amendment to the harbor plan. The amendment would declare Cranston Cove and Park Dock as non-mooring areas that the town would manage into compliance with state and CRMC present ordinances. The town would also manage Head's Beach into compliance as a mooring zone. Commissioner Robert Bowen seconded the motion, which the panel approved without dissent.

When Cranston Cove resident Maurice La Flamme was asked about the decision, he said, "They are doing the right thing. Cranston Cove should never be a mooring area." La Flamme attended the previous harbor commission meeting when the harbor plan and potential mooring areas were discussed with the CRMC.

In other business, Harbor Management Executive Director Thomas Tighe reported that the commission received a $15,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) for the installation of a new pumpout facility at East Ferry.

Tighe also announced that much to his regret, Paula Swistak would be leaving her post as harbor clerk. The chief also congratulated Swistak for her new appointment as the town assistant finance director.

In an unrelated matter, the commission voted unanimously to send a letter to the Town Council saying that after reviewing the CRMC public notice, they had no objections for Michael Powers to construct and maintain a 204- by 4-foot fixed pier at his home at 569 Seaside Drive.

Harbormaster Sam Paterson mentioned that the long-requested missing cleat for the touch and go dock at East Ferry had arrived and would be installed within a week.

Swistak said that she has received a number of requests from boat owners requiring No- Discharge Compliance Program stickers about where to go to get inspected. The DEM ordinance, which went into effect on June 1, requires all boats with permanently installed marine toilets to be inspected and display a decal or face fines.

Kallfelz mentioned that he has been waiting for over three weeks for one of the two facilities on the island authorized to perform inspections to inspect his boat. The overwhelming number of requests could force boaters to take their vessels off island to be inspected or risk fines for not meeting the June 1 cut-off dates according to the harbor office.

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