2010-08-26 / Front Page

Expenses trimmed on Ft. Getty boat ramp

By Sam Bari

The Harbor Management Commission is focused on the best way to make a new – and much-needed – Ft. Getty boat ramp a reality.

Although Town Engineer Mike Gray did not attend the Aug. 18 Harbor Commission meeting, he sent a letter to the commissioners with an attached schematic and a comprehensive outline of their choices.

In his letter, Gray recommended that the commission choose the scope of the work so the design, permitting and bid documents could be prepared. Once the harbor funds are available, the package would be ready for bid and construction.

After a lengthy discussion, the commissioners agreed that the 124-foot ramp they were originally considering would be too costly at $280,000.

The panel agreed to proceed with a 70-foot ramp and eliminate the grounding float, as well as the concrete landing and aluminum gangway that goes with it. The budget cost then dropped dramatically to $110,000.

That configuration would be approximately 25 feet longer than the present ramp and would be constructed with pre-cast articulated interlocking concrete block, Gray’s letter said.

The Coastal Resources Management Council agreed to allow the additional 25 feet as a maintenance project, as long as dredging was not required.

Commissioner Susan Little said that the addition would allow boaters more time to use the ramp as the tides change.

The commissioners voted unanimously 5 to 0 to present the budget and plan for the ramp to the Town Council for its approval and funding.

Specifically, the request would be for 50% of the $110,000 budget to come out of the Ft. Getty Fund, a special fund reserved for maintenance and improvements at the town-owned park.

The remainder of the fees would come from the Harbor Commission General Fund this fall.

If the Town Council agrees to move ahead with the project, work should be completed be- fore the weather turns cold, Little said.

In other business, Harbor Clerk Kim Devlin reported that 20 permits were still left to be relinquished or renewed.

Facilities Chair Susan Little also reported that Conanicut Marine has replaced two ladders on the wood-pile pier and two ladders on the steel pier. Additionally, they replaced two lower kick supports and re-nailed some loose boards on the wood-pile pier.

Conanicut Marine owner Bill Munger has agreed to provide Executive Director, Chief Thomas Tighe, with a written accounting of all the work Conanicut Marine has completed after the season is over.

Little also reported that the washout discovered on the seawall leading to the steel pier at East Ferry will be repaired before September – if everything goes as planned.

Mike Gray sent a maintenance certification request to the CRMC on July 8, with a detailed description of the required work.

He received the permits from CRMC to proceed with the repairs last week and is presently scheduling the work.

Harbormaster Sam Paterson reported that repairs to the harbormaster’s vessel, Easton, have been completed. He also reported that the Ribcraft requires service and the transducer needs replacing. The steering also needs fluid and a check for leaks. When the vessel is hauled, the town mechanic will do the work, Paterson said.

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