2008-02-21 / Front Page

Harbor improvements outlined by commission

By Sam Bari

Commissioners discussed at length the state of planned projects for the waterfronts at East Ferry and Fort Getty during the February Harbor Management Commission meeting last week.

Facilities sub-committee Chairman Robert Bowen said they decided that engineering studies needed to be completed at both East Ferry and Ft. Getty before the projects could begin. He reported that an engineering study for the town-owned woodpile pier was estimated at $12,700, and for an additional $3,500, the feasibility study for the woodpile pier extension could be completed at the same time.

Bowen said that combining the engineering projects made sense because divers were involved. He added that if the projects were engineered separately, the costs for the extension would more than double.

In addition to the engineering costs for the woodpile pier repairs and extension, Bowen said the engineering for the touch-and-go addition to the woodpile pier would cost $6,000 to $7,000. The estimate for the curbs and rails project revision at East Ferry was $2,000, Bowen said.

Bowen recommended that the $3,500 in expenses for the woodpile pier extension should come from the town budget. He further recommended that the Ft. Getty boat ramp and dredging project, which was estimated at $150,000 to $200,000, should also be a town expense. He said "We do not have the resources for either project in our budget at this time, or in the near future. So if the town wants to pursue these projects, they should be willing to fund them."

Commission Chairman Michael de Angeli agreed with Bowen, as did the other commissioners. De Angeli said the town mandated that repairs to the woodpile pier and the touch-and-go dock addition be completed. "We have no choice but to finish those projects. We have the resources, so we must get them done," he said.

Commissioner Andrew Kallfelz questioned the repeated engineering expenses on projects that have been in the planning stages for years. "If you add up the expense of engineering and getting estimates, in some cases, the total costs of engineering, studies and estimates are as much as if the project were completed in the first place," he said.

Bowen agreed that the costs did reoccur. "But when the estimates are beyond our budget because additions to the projects as recommended have driven the cost up and the projects are put off for several years because money is not available, the estimates are no longer valid," Bowen said. "We need to get current estimates and act on them before the prices change," he said.

"Then we shouldn't go to the Town Council and ask them to spend more than $25,000 in engineering fees when we don't have the money to complete the projects," Kallfelz said. "We should prioritize the projects and have them approve one at a time as we can do them."

After further discussion, the commissioners agreed to vote on each project and recommend a prioritized list to the town administrator to present to the council. Chair- man de Angeli agreed to draft the letter with the commission's recommendations in order of priority.

The first consideration was the curbs and rails project at East Ferry. This was followed by the inspection and repair of the woodpile pier. Then, the installation of the new touch-and go-dock addition to the woodpile pier, and fi- nally the dredging and building of the boat ramp at Ft. Getty.

Fishing on the woodpile

pier discussed

Commissioner Bowen said that he had heard erroneous complaints about the town's new regulations for fishing on the woodpile pier. "People are under the impression that fishing will only be allowed on the last 40-feet of the pier," Bowen said. "That is not true, and I think we should ask the Press to publish the rules."

Fishing is exclusive for the last 40-feet of the pier. Boats are not permitted to dock there. However, "that does not mean fishing is not allowed on the remainder of the pier," Bowen said. "It most certainly is. Fishing is permitted in any space where a boat is not docked and in between docked boats as well."

In the areas where boats dock, however, boats have priority. Fishermen are not permitted to prevent boats from docking, nor are they allowed to cast across boats, Bowen said. Boaters have complained about fishermen boarding and casting lines from unattended boats and leaving garbage on boat decks as well. That will not be tolerated, Bowen said.

Police Chief Thomas Tighe promised additional patrols during the boating season to enforce rules regarding the use of the pier. "If fishermen and boaters are considerate of the rights of others, there is no reason why the pier can't be enjoyed by everyone," Bowen said.

New member and

reinstatements

Chairman de Angeli welcomed Susan Little to the commission as the newest commissioner. Little represents riparian non-boaters. She has lived in Jamestown for just over a year and she believes her financial background can be helpful in budgetary areas.

de Angeli assigned Little to the budget and facilities sub-committees.

The commissioners voted unanimously to reinstate Michael de Angeli and Andrew Kallfelz as chairman and vice-chairman of the Harbor Management Commission respectively.

Agenda items

Harbor clerk Kim Devlin said that anyone wishing to submit agenda items must do so five days in advance of any meeting.

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