Fuller Street Beach dredge project is now underway

Fuller Street Beach will be renourished with sand dredged from Edgartown Great Pond. — Photo by Michelle Gross

Updated Friday, 9 am

Edgartown selectmen Monday heard a report on a project that will use sand dredged from Edgartown Great Pond to renourish Fuller Street Beach. As part of that effort, selectmen signed off on the use and cost of an additional excavator and operator who will be join the effort.  The total cost of the project is $19,450, selectmen learned.

The barrier beach between the Great Pond and the Atlantic Ocean is periodically opened to flush the pond with sea water. This winter, the town dredge was used to deepen the channel on the pond side of the beach to prolong the opening, which closes naturally as weather conditions dictate.

In the second phase of this project, sand dredged from the pond and now stockpiled will be moved from Edgartown Great Pond to the right fork State Beach parking lot, then transported to Fuller Street Beach, dredge committee member Les Baynes told selectmen.

“The cost to get the sand there is $5,000,” Mr. Baynes said.  

The move will begin as early as this week and should only take a few days, Edgartown highway superintendent Stuart Fuller said.

In January, selectmen approved a request from dredge advisory committee chairman Howell Kelly to begin the permitting process for nourishing of Fuller Street Beach. Earlier, Mr. Kelly told selectmen that his committee has been stockpiling sand in preparation to moving part of it over to Fuller Street  Beach.

“I think you’ve done a fabulous job,” selectman Art Smadbeck said of the highway superintendent. “Everybody’s working together. I think we should name the beach after Stuart.”

Under the town’s new protocol for dredging projects, the selectmen and the conservation commission must sign off on all dredging projects.

Parking spots for lease

In other business Monday, town administrator Pamela Dolby told selectmen that along with Mr. Fuller, the town will advertise ten reserved parking spots in the town-owned park and ride lot off Dark Woods Road near the Triangle. The spots will be reserved for Edgartown residents who own businesses.

“What we’re proposing is to take four 60-foot parking spaces and six 20-foot parking spaces that are already in existence and put an ad in the paper and allow people to apply for a parking permit,” Ms. Dolby said

The permit would be valid for one year. The 60-foot spaces would cost $650 per year, and the 20-foot spaces would cost $350 per year, Ms. Dolby said.

“The deadline for applications is April 15, so we’ll see what comes in,” she said. “It’s a trial. We don’t know how much interest there will be, and we may tweak it as we go along.”

Ms. Dolby said that each space will be numbered and there will be signs indicating each individual parking spot. “It gives the police department the teeth to start towing people that are in large commercial vehicles. It will control things better.”

In a follow-up conversation with The Times on Wednesday, selectman Margaret Serpa said the decision to lease the spots will help regulate the lot.

“It’s supposed to be a 24-hour lot, and there’s been an issue in the past with people parking for long periods of time, and also instances of people abandoning vehicles,” Ms. Serpa said. “So we thought we could work something that could accommodate what people need. Hopefully this fills the need and helps maintain that lot.”

Pink & Green, Food & Wine

Also Monday, selectmen approved two separate requests from the Edgartown Board of Trade (EBT). The first is to place a banner on Main Street for the Pink & Green weekend in May, and the second is to add second, smaller tent on Kelly Street during the annual Food & Wine Festival in October.

EBT, will be hosting its third annual “Pink and Green” weekend May 9 to May 11, and the Food and Wine Festival October 16 to 19.

“This will be our third year hosting Pink and Green in town,” EBT member Sydney Mullen told selectmen. “It’s a chance for the board of trade to sort of kick off the summer season a little bit early, and what we’re looking for is similar to what we asked for last year, which is permission to hang the banner where we usually do, on Main Street across the corner of Summer street.”

EBT president Christina Cook asked selectmen’s permission to place a tent in the Maiden Lane parking lot for the Food and Wine Festival, and to add a second, smaller tent on Kelly Street.

“Last year we just did one event in the tent on Saturday. This year we’d like to have one event on Friday afternoon,” Ms. Cook said.

The four-day festival, presented by the EBT in partnership with Boston Magazine, includes wine dinners, tastings, seminars, a Sunday brunch, a dance party, and even an opera dinner. The main Grand Tasting event, featuring samples, demos, and access to celebrated chef and vintners, will take place this year in downtown Edgartown under a huge tent, giving a boost to local businesses.

Aquaculture licenses

Finally Monday, selectmen approved two aquaculture licences for Joe and Ryan Smith, to grow oysters on two acres in 15 feet of water in an area known as Middle Flats, just north of Eel Pond in the outer harbor.

Shellfish constable Paul Bagnall gave the Smiths his blessing.

“I think it’s a good sign that these people want to expand,” Mr. Bagnall said. “It’s the way of the future, and we’re lucky to have them both in Edgartown.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the sand would be staged in the Right Fork Diner parking lot. The sand will be stored in the State Beach right fork parking lot prior to being transported to Fuller Street Beach.