To the Editor:
There is a plan in the works to remove the wood dock on the north side of Menemsha Harbor and replace it with concrete floats.
These floats have some serious issues that should be looked into. Some of which are as follows.
Being floats, they are basically cement boats fastened together. They have stability problems and can’t carry too much weight. (We on the west side can only keep two bait barrels per boat.) They will probably have to be closed to the public due to the weight factor.
This wouldn’t really matter because these floats, being at sea level,will mean one will never be able to see a sunset there again. Or even view Vineyard Sound. All you will be able to see is a rock wall.
In Florida, these have broken free during hurricanes causing much more damage to boats than the hurricane itself. They have a relatively short lifespan, some having to be replaced after 20 years. With electric and water running inside and through them, repairs are very expensive. They take up more room. (On the west side, two larger boats had to be relocated because the floats were wider then the old dock.) The same will hold true with these. A 30-foot-long ramp will be needed to access these floats, thus taking up more valuable space.
The present dock has been there a long time without any problems and very little maintenance. The drive-on dock was built in 1968 and would have been usable for many more years. A new wood dock with easier access for boaters could easily be built. Or repair and fix up the old one, which would be even better. Why the big rush to spend this kind of money without more input from the public. The Coast Guard even rebuilt with a very rugged wood dock.
If this is what voters really want, then to save money, take the concrete floating docks from the west side and move them to the north side and give us back a usable and functional wood dock.
Once again, this will change Menemsha forever. Maybe we should have the MV Commission review this?
Keep an eye out for the town meeting in August – which will be very difficult to attend at this time of year.
Wayne V. Iacono