Edgartown plan would add dock space
The Edgartown selectmen faced a full agenda Tuesday, including reports on a new docking plan for the harbor, an update on the library project, and comments on proposed fireworks regulations. Several residents were on hand to ask for appointments to various committees.
Marine advisory committee chairman Joseph Cressy and harbormaster Charles J. Blair Jr. presented a proposal to build two floats and locate them off the harbor finger piers east of the Edgartown Yacht Club, to provide more mooring space for transient boats in the summer.
"We're trying to get the most out of the space," Mr. Blair told the selectmen, as he described his plan to increasing space for boats. "It never accommodated a lot of people. It was not a money-maker for the town." The committee would like the selectmen to approve a long-term lease to add the floats as well as expand the loading zone. The plan does not require state permits, Mr. Blair said.
Mr. Cressy said the floats could be removed if they don't work. "We don't feel it will interfere with navigation," he said.
The proposal was inspired by a change in the docks' use last year when some were allotted for charter boats only, thus limiting use by transient boats. Mr. Cressy and Mr. Blair proposed that those docks could be rented to transient boats during the day when the charter boats are out.
"We'd really change the way we do business," Mr. Blair said, noting the plan would double the capacity of the piers.
"I'm not thrilled about those floats," selectman Margaret Serpa told the harbormaster, and she asked about their cost, about $6,000 apiece, according to Mr. Blair.
Selectman chairman Michael Donaroma was encouraging. "I like the idea of getting more user friendly," he said. "It was a shame to have it empty last year."
Selectman Arthur Smadbeck was absent, but the two others agreed to look at the piers on Wednesday and consider the proposal in terms of the costs and others who would be affected, such as the abutting yacht club.
The selectmen also discussed fireworks regulations in light of an application on the agenda. Lynn Buckmaster-Irwin, a wedding planner, spoke on behalf of an unnamed bride and groom who want to have a fireworks display off the Edgartown lighthouse at their wedding on May 19. She said the couple would pay for the entire cost of the fireworks, including all town personnel.
Pamela Dolby, the selectmen's executive secretary, passed out a plan for regulating fireworks to police and fire officials and Mr. Blair, all of whom must hire personnel to cover fireworks.
Mr. Blair responded immediately, saying that he needs to plan a year ahead for funding and personnel for any fireworks display. He said he often doesn't have enough vessels or personnel for a fireworks display, especially at the end of the summer. The Edgartown Board of Trade's fireworks was on Labor Day this past year. "I see nothing but a huge headache," he said.
The selectmen asked for information on the costs for all the departments involved before acting on the regulations. They agreed to allow the wedding couple's fireworks to go ahead because of the time constraint and since there will be no costs to the town. No one in the audience objected.
David Blackburn of the Edgartown Library trustees described the library expansion project. At the recommendation of highway superintendent Stuart Fuller, he said the trustees would like to have an electrical power panel installed in a corner at the back of the library property. However, in order to install the panel, Mr. Blackburn said other steps have to be taken first.
"We would like the power line to run up the driveway," he said. "That means tearing Warren House down."
Mr. Donaroma wanted to know what the property would look like with the house gone. Mr. Blackburn said it would be filled and used as a temporary parking lot.
Ms. Serpa asked if the library trustees have all the permits and money need to do the work.
Mr. Blackburn said the money has not been raised yet, and the trustees still need approvals from the Massachusetts Historic Commission and the town zoning board of appeals before the house may be razed. The demolition will allow for the library expansion. The cost of tearing down the house will be $37,000, he said.
Before making any recommendations, Mr. Donaroma said he would want to know more about the condition of the property after removing the house, the funding sources and the permitting process.
"We want to keep you up to date on the project," Mr. Blackburn concluded.
The selectmen also appointed the following to town boards: David Nash and Paul Schultz, the dredge committee; Judy Hathaway, council on aging; Kenneth Johnson, transit authority; Nancy Kelly and Garrett Conover as alternates to the zoning board of appeals.