Selectmen tour Menemsha

New Harbormaster Ryan Rossi makes improvement recommendations as board strolls.


Chilmark selectmen did their annual onsite review of Menemsha Harbor Thursday morning. The board was joined by new harbormaster Ryan Rossi, town administrator Tim Carroll, Police Chief Jonathan Klaren, harbor advisory committee member Edward “Spider” Andresen, and superintendent of streets Keith Emin.

Among the suggestions Rossi made for the harbor going forward was shrink-wrapping electrical pedestals over the winter, selection of a cap or seal for wooden piling tops, reconfiguring I-beam pilings along the west dock, and fine-tuning the docking logistics of fishing boats on the commercial wharf. Rossi said his staff will walk all the docks every morning to scout for debris or anything problematic, and log a daily report of their findings.

The costliest recommendation Rossi made was a rebuild of a section of bulkhead near the charter dock. He estimated there was between $100,000 and $200,000 worth of work to be done there.

Carroll said an Americans with Disabilities Act ramp would be a good replacement for the stairs in that corner of the harbor.

“We need to redesign this corner,” selectmen chairman Warren Doty said.

Selectman Jim Malkin pointed out an appropriation such as what Rossi estimated would require a special town meeting.

“Everything is going to be up to the voters,” selectman Bill Rossi said.

As the group left the docks for Basin Road, Emin and Chief Klaren pointed out a no-parking sign near the mouth of Crick Hill Road that appears unpopular with some folks. Emin said he found the sign in the harbor last year.

At the intersection of Basin and North Road, the group surveyed where new stop signs would be installed.

Emin said he could begin work on the sign at the bottom of the hill on North Road as soon as Dig Safe marks the terrain.

Outside the Galley restaurant and next to the boarded-up Menemsha Market, the group examined a new utility pole that had a section of old utility pole suspended from it. The selectmen vowed to press the utility providers, who had their wiring strung against the section of pole, to get rid of it.

The group also viewed the pilings near Brian “Chip” Vanderhoop’s Creek Lot. Malkin, the board’s harbor liaison, reminded Rossi the selectmen decided to prohibit vessels from docking on the outside of the pilings.

“Unless there is a weather emergency,” Malkin added; “your call.”

Throughout the tour, workers and machinery bustled on the harbor edge, hustling to meet an absolute deadline of May 24 for major electrical upgrades.

Asked if the board believes the work will be done by the new deadline, Malkin said, “It’s the town’s intention to have the project done by Memorial Day, and our contractor has told us he’s making his best efforts to do so.”