2009-01-22 / Front Page

Fort Getty sailing center project moves forward

Center may start construction in fall
By Adrienne Downing

Jamestown could be home to a new sailing training center as early as this fall if talks with the Fort Adams Sailing Team come to fruition.

FAST approached the town over a year ago with an offer to raise funds, build, and then turn over to the town a sailing center at Fort Getty for use as an offseason training facility, Town Planner Lisa Bryer said. During the summer months, the center would be used as a family sailing center.

The FAST sailors now use a rented space at Fort Adams to train, but feel that Jamestown would offer a more easily accessible option. "Ft. Adams is busy and it is not very convenient to get to," Bryer said, adding that a lot of the key people involved in FAST are from Jamestown.

The best thing about the center, according to Bryer, is that one was already planned for the space at Fort Getty. "When we did the Fort Getty Master Plan in 2005, we actually had the words sailing center on the document. So, we were really amazed when FAST approached us. It just seemed to fit in with the plan," she said.

When looking at possible uses for Fort Getty, the town hoped to increase resident use of the park through water dependant functions. "It seemed to really be engulfed by the trailers, and the town wanted something that could survive in conjunction with them, but would really benefi t the residents of Jamestown," Bryer said.

Plans for the facility include a $250,000 to $350,000 sailing center, approximately 10,000 square feet in size near the existing boat ramp in the park.

Bryer said one option for running the center would be similar to the Jamestown Golf Course. "We are really learning what it means to run a sailing center. It is the goal of the town to have the sailing program to be self sufficient, so one option is for the town to lease it to someone who knows how to run it," Bryer said.

Another use for the facility could include a training facility for the North Kingstown High School sailing team. "The high school trains in the fall and the spring, not during the high season. They also train during the week and FAST trains on the weekends, so it would be a good fit," Bryer said.

The town planner also said that the need for more slots for sailing lessons is great in Jamestown. "We have kids who go to a lot of surrounding communities because the Conanicut Island Yacht Club is overflowing at the seams with their program," Bryer said.

CYC has given its support to the idea. "They are definitely not looking at it as direct competition with their program," she said.

The Town Council is holding a joint workshop Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the memorandum of agreement .

Some of the items included in the agreement to be presented include:

• The Town and FAST will develop a memorandum of agreement for use of the property and facilities, which may be amended by agreement of both parties periodically.

• FAST will develop schematic building design plans for the Town of Jamestown's consideration for development of the sailing center at Ft. Getty.

• FAST will fundraise and develop the sailing center building including boat storage, staging area, restroom facilities and boat launching facilities. The Town of Jamestown will be responsible for all capital investment related to the town sailing program such as sailboats and related equipment.

• Once developed the building and facilities will be owned and maintained by the Town of Jamestown. FAST will be responsible for maintenance of the facility as it relates to their usage of the facility.

• FAST will utilize the Sailing Center from March into June and September into November for FAST training, in coordination with the Town of Jamestown Recreation Department.

• FAST boats may be stored during their off season (winter and summer) at the facility in coordination with the Town of Jamestown Recreation Department. Any use of the facilities between Memorial Day and Labor Day will require the express consent from the Town of Jamestown Department of Parks and Recreation.

• FAST may sponsor and/or be a coordinator of several regatta events during the summer with the approval of and in coordination with Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department.

• The Town understands that the utility lines near the boat ramp and the dock area need to be buried or raised to an acceptable level for safety in boat maneuvering in that area. The Town will coordinate and pay for this project.

• The town understands that permitting will be necessary in order to support two additional public restrooms in the area of, but outside of the new sailing center building. The Town agrees to perform the permitting and pay for the construction of such public restroom facilities.

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