2011-11-10 / Front Page

Council passes changes to harbor ordinance


The Town Council this week adopted revisions to Jamestown’s Harbor Management Ordinance, which governs the finances and management of town-owned waterfront facilities. Although the voting brought to an end a threeand one-half year effort to amend the ordinance, there was plenty of controversy and confusion during the public hearing on two separate proposals: one from the Harbor Commission and the other from Town Administrator Bruce Keiser.

The council, which met on Nov. 7, held four votes on amendments to the ordinance. One of the key differences between the two proposals involved the use of revenue from town-owned waterfront properties. The administrator’s proposal, which grants the town much more latitude in the use of this revenue, passed by 4-1 vote.

Currently, the town brings in $84,000 a year from marina operators leasing property at Fort Wetherill, Dutch Harbor and East Ferry. The revenue had previously been used primarily for harbor repairs and renovations. However, under language proposed by the administrator in June, any unused revenue from the leases (and mooring fees) would be deposited in a “capital reserve account” at the end of the fiscal year – at which point it would be available for municipal, as well as harbor, projects.

Under the language proposed by the commission, the mooring and leasing revenue would be “maintained… in a harbor and waterfront account for harbor and waterfront facilities.” Expenditures from the account would be recommended by the commission.

Now, however, the commission [optimal] size and feasibility of a turbine for the characteristics of the Taylor Point site.”

The grant will support five more months of Taylor Point wind measurements with a sodar, a sonic detection and ranging device; a meteorological study to assess the location’s annual wind resources; Phase 2 of National Grid’s estimate of the costs to carry the load from a 1.65-megawatt turbine to the North Road feeder lines; a financial performance analysis; economic modeling of the benefi ts of municipal ownership versus a partnership with a private energy developer; preparation of a request for proposals to build the turbine; and contract negotiations with whatever company is selected to put up the turbine if the council decides to build one.

Keiser said that a Request for Qualifications soliciting the services of a wind energy consultant to handle all of the aforementioned work will be sent out by the end of this week. He added, “We won’t have seven separate contractors [for the wide range of work]. Just one.”

Councilor Bob Bowen indicated that he was anxious to start the studies, asking if there was a substitute for Alteris – which has been purchased by Second Wind – to start a review of the first three months of sodar data. Keiser said that the question was moot because there will be additional wind data available to study. Bowen, however, asked Keiser to “see if Second Wind could do the analysis so we can start the economic modeling.”

Another piece of the initiative that the council will have to address is a zoning change for the Taylor Point site, which is currently a protected area. In order to build a turbine, the council will have to expand the zoning in place for the parking lot to exclude some of the area selected for the turbine.

It remains to be seen, moreover, if the Department of Energy Resources will grant Jamestown $500,000 towards turbine construction. Keiser said that DER remains inclined to award the money, but, as he has previously said, the department needs to know the size of the turbine before awarding the full amount – and that determination will hinge on the pending economic analyses.

Turning to the progress of Fort Getty Master Plan implementation, Councilor Bill Murphy expressed impatience with the wait for a meeting with Landworks to discuss the scope of its pending analysis of potential Fort Getty uses. “I’m frustrated,” Murphy said. “When will we have the meeting? This summer? We need to have this discussion.”

Keiser ventured to guess that the earliest date for the meeting would be sometime in December. Bowen remarked that “we have a consensus to keep the RV campground except maybe some of the sites on the western side,” imply-

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