Deer hunt to continue at Beavertail State Park
Associate Director Larry Mouradjian, of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, reported that the deer hunting program at Beavertail State Park will continue this year.
At the semi-annual meeting of the Beavertail State Park Advisory Committee on Oct. 17, Mouradjian said, "There were no complaints, and the hunt demonstrated that limited, managed hunting is a legitimate form of wildlife management, which will preserve the park's recreational use and value."
Regional Park and Recreation Superintendent Bob Paquette asked Park Supervisor Brian Gallagher to update the committee on the progress of the tick sign installation. Gallagher advised the committee that he placed signs on 4- by 4- inch posts, 5- feet high, at entrances to each walking path so they would be highly visible and easy to read.
Committee member Hazel Turley thanked the DEM staff that participated in the creation of both the sign and a tick informational brochure for their efforts. Chairman of the Site Acquisition Committee Varoujan Karentz asked if the DEM could provide copies of the brochure for distribution to patrons of the Lighthouse Museum. Paquette said he would have the brochures sent to the BLMA.
Chairman Gary Galkin asked if the situation with the resident caretaker had remained the same since the committee's last meeting. Karentz said he had attended two Town Council meetings on the subject and it seems that the council is going to recommend that the town go along with the transfer of the property. In the last meeting, the Town Council asked Town Administrator Bruce Keiser how much money had been spent by the town on the residence. Keiser replied that he would have to research the question, and then report his findings to the council.
Karentz said he felt a representative of the DEM should attend the Monday, Oct. 22 council meeting. Mouradjian agreed, and said, "The state was not aware that this discussion, which clearly affects the future of the property, was taking place."
Karentz said, "The Town Council and Mr. Keiser understand that the state will become the owner of the property." Mouradjian responded, saying that currently the state technically has no responsibility, and he would like something in writing from the town that they would not oppose the state's action to acquire the property. He also mentioned that he was concerned that the state was not notified of the recent Town Council discussions, as they are clearly affected by the discussions made by the Town Council and town administrator on this issue.
Committee member Linda Warner said that the BLMA was also not notified. Karentz said that he saw the agenda of the council meetings, and since the discussion affected the future of the property, he attended. Karentz and Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association President George Warner said that from their interpretation of the Town Council discussions, there would be no objection from the council or the town administrator, and that the town would divert their interests in the property when the state takes action to acquire the property.
Paquette informed the committee that the following was added to the special use application for events at Beavertail: "No limousines or wedding vehicles can park on the roads while the ceremony or pictures are taking place. They must use designated parking lots."
Turley asked about the status of the project to build permanent bathrooms at Beavertail. Mouradjian said that this project is part of the five-year capital plan, and he is investigating funding from numerous sources.
Mouradjian went on to explain that the capital plan is the amount of money programmed over five years that comes out of the budget for certain projects. These allocations may be overridden for emergency projects and projects that must be completed due to public safety. Mouradjian also said that he is committed to the project and is actively seeking funding for it.
In new business, Linda Warner informed the committee that attendance at the museum was up this year, reporting that the park hosted 25, 000 to 27,000 visitors this summer which is about 4,000 more patrons then the previous year.
Perimeter fence Chairman Galkin noted that the perimeter fence is still in its previous non-functional condition and no repairs have taken place. Karentz said that the BLMA has submitted a grant request to BankNewport to make the necessary fence repairs. Two quotes were submitted along with the request, one, two-rail, and one, three-rail, with different materials used for each. The BLMA expects to receive notification on the grant in November.
In other business Mouradjian introduced Steven Wright, DEM, Acting Chief of Parks and Recreation. Mouradjian said that as Acting Chief, Wright would attend committee meetings until a permanent Chief is appointed. Mouradjian also said that he would continue to attend committee meetings and be an active member of the committee.