North Water Street mains to be replaced
Edgartown signs contract in extensive improvement project
Edgartown selectmen signed a contract Monday allowing a contractor to proceed with replacing 100-year-old water mains on North Water Street.
The contract was signed with UEL Contractor of Fitchburg at a cost of $152,000, which will come out of water department funds. The water project is the second part of an alternate contract built into the overall North Water Street project, which involves burying all electrical utilities underground, according to Fred Domont, town water department superintendent.
The first part of the water main replacement on North Water Street, from Cottage Street to Thayer Street, has been completed and was funded by the homeowners in that section. The water commissioners recently approved town funding of the second phase of the water main replacement.
The 100-year-old eight-inch cast-iron water mains are being replaced with 12-inch ductile water mains, Mr. Domont said. The old water mains were in the way of where the new electrical conduits were to be laid, he said.
"It kind of developed," he said of the extended project. "We thought there would be a great savings if the second phase was done with town funds."
North Water Street is now stripped down to the bare earth and causing a bumpy ride for residents. A detour around the project has been set up for the Harbor View Inn.
"There are some people not too happy about it," Mr. Domont said, but he added they should be happy with the final result.
The electrical project will be in two phases, with the first phase, laying the conduits, to be completed this spring, and the rest, including removal of all above-ground wires and poles, next fall.
In other business on Monday, the selectmen agreed to add to the spring town meeting warrant a proposal to buy two floating docks and a gangway for $12,000, which would be placed off the harbor finger piers east of the Edgartown Yacht Club. The floats would extend the middle pier and be used for charter boats and allow more space for transient boats this summer, marine advisory committee chairman Joseph Cressy said.
Selectman Arthur Smadbeck expressed concern about congestion in the harbor and asked Mr. Cressy and harbormaster Charles Blair to come up with a detailed plan for the harbor docks before the April 10 town meeting.
Mr. Blair acknowledged that the floats are a stopgap effort to take care of a few more transient boats. "The problem is we don't have enough dock space," he told the selectmen.
The town lost space for the charter boats when the Navigator Restaurant was sold, he said. He said he is looking at other long-term solutions to the problem.
Executive secretary Pamela Dolby asked the selectmen to appoint a committee to look into purchasing the Chappaquiddick ferry. She said the town needs to resolve whether to buy the ferry or not. The action was prompted by an appearance last month of more than 25 Chappaquiddick residents at the selectmen's meeting. Many were upset that the current ferry owner, Roy Hayes, had set up a resident committee to determine the residents' eligibility for discount fares. Some complained the committee's requirements were an invasion of their privacy, while others pushed the selectmen to consider taking over the ferry operation.
Mr. Hayes also encouraged the selectmen to take a bigger role in the ferry service, saying that he plans to retire in a few years. He has run the ferry for 19 years under a lease agreement with the town.
The town will advertise for a combination of people, both from Chappaquiddick and the rest of Edgartown, to serve on the committee.