Chappy ferry captain proposes new dock

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Highlighted area shows where the new dock will be. — Photo Courtesy of Google Maps

Chappy ferry captain and owner Peter Wells wants to build a dock to connect his spare slip to the Edgartown town float on the Chappaquiddick side of Edgartown Harbor. At their regular Monday night meeting, Edgartown selectmen gave Mr. Wells permission to bring the proposal before the Edgartown conservation commission.

Mr. Wells said that the lack of a walkway was a safety hazard.

“You see the float on the aerial view,” he said. “Right now it’s on dry land, but usually it ends in the water. So people getting off and on that float have to wade through the water. People coming back late at night a little tipsy end up climbing over the bulkhead and onto my ferry, and I’ve heard stories of people falling into the water.”

Mr. Wells said he was planning work on the Chappy slips when he realized that it would be a good time to also build the wooden walkway.

“It makes sense to me,” selectman Margaret Serpa said.

Selectmen agreed to send the proposal to the conservation commission.

Additionally, selectmen approved signs on Main Street and Water Street directing cars to line up for the Chappy ferry on Simpson’s Lane, as Mr. Wells said they do in the summer. The Chappy ferry will soon be operating only one boat while one undergoes routine maintenance for approximately two months. The boat was originally scheduled to be taken out of the water this week, but has been delayed at least two more weeks, Mr. Wells said. When the boat is taken out of the water, delays are expected. A self-regulating staging line would alleviate traffic.

“If it’s handwritten and it’s kind of crooked letters, people seem to notice,” said Mr. Wells.

Selectmen approved Mr. Wells’ request.

Chairman Michael Donaroma also read a letter from the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, which has begun outside renovations on the Old Whaling Church. The project began Monday morning. As a result, the bell in the tower will not ring until work is completed.

In other business, selectmen approved a dredge advisory board recommendation to hire the 2014–15 dredge-season crew. The members will be Greg Bettencourt, foreman, Donald Benefit, operator, Daniel Gilkes, and Mark Defeo as alternate.