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News/Events - Meeting Minutes
Waterways Commission, January 5, 2004
MINUTES OF MEETING, JANUARY 5, 2004
MEMBERS PRESENT: James Casey, Chairman; Frank Regan; Rick Murray; Donald Hourihan; Keith Dobie; Pat Murray; Bill DeCoste; Geoffrey Gaughan.
1. Chairman James Casey CALLED THE MEETING TO ORDER at approximately 7:30 P.M., in the Scituate Town Library Meeting Room.
2. On a MOTION by Mr. Dobie, SECONDED by Mr. R. Murray , the Minutes of the Meeting of December 1, 2003 were approved by all members present (6-0, 2 members not present).
3. REVIEW OF CORRESPONDENCE. Mr. Casey showed copies of invoices for various services associated with the Waterways Commission.
4. HARBORMASTER’S REPORT. Mr. Regan reported the budget is in the positive; he said that he has received a new Harbormaster’s vehicle to replace the very old one; a contract has been written for the new marina. He said that the lobster car situation is being resolved with a compromise solution. He said that Mr. Norton and Mr. Harris met with him at the very end of last year. Mr. Regan circulated copies of a Temporary Agreement (a copy of this agreement is attached to the Minutes of this Meeting). Mr. Regan went over the main points of this agreement. Mr. Regan has also been in touch with the frostbiters to let them know that he brokered a deal with the lobstermen, and that he is also willing to make a deal with them. Mr. Regan asked if there were any questions. He said that there are five lobster cars out of the water now. He fined one owner who removed his car early. Mr. Casey said that he thinks that the outcome of this matter is terrific, and he thanked Mr. Regan for his work to resolve this issue which has persisted from year to year. He asked Mr. Regan about the clause in the agreement that states that the lobster cars will be destroyed if they are not back in the water before April 15. Mr. Dobie mentioned a discussion about whether a bylaw change is needed in order to allow the lobster cars there. Mr. Regan responded that the Selectmen have said that there may be a change to the bylaw, and this is why the current agreement is temporary. Mr. Casey said that it is up to the WWC to draft language that will be effective to keep this active. Mr. Regan said that the $250 deposits will be returned promptly once the lobster cars go back in the water. Mr. Casey asked if the deposits will be placed in an interest bearing account, as there will be some administrative costs. Mr. Regan then showed some drawings of the areas of the Harbor that have not been dredged; these were given to him by Mrs. Janet Fairbanks. Mr. Casey suggested creating a PDF file of the map showing the colored areas that represent the undredged harbor areas.
5. OLD BUSINESS. Mr. Casey asked Mr. Regan if he could comment on the mooring situation in the South River, in Mr. Fultz’s absence. Mr. Regan said that there are some problems with unregistered moorings; we are not responsible for replacing them if they are not permitted. He said there are about 106 that have been pulled; only 65 are registered. Mr. Casey asked where the moorings are; Mr. Regan said they are down by Erickson’s place, he has heard. Mr. Regan said they are still not sure which are legal and which are illegal. Mr. Casey said there will be problems, lawsuits that may come out of this. Mr. Regan said that he is not sure what will be done about the situation. There are people on the South River who are waiting for moorings; it will be unfair to those who are waiting, to have those with illegal moorings ahead of them. Mr. Hourihan also said it is not fair to those who have been paying for a mooring all along. Mr. Dobie said that some people pay for a mooring even though they do not have one, so they think they are reserving themselves a mooring. Mr. Casey said that Mr. Fultz had told him that the dredging company is behind in the dredging of the South River. They have been told to double up on their production, but as of yesterday this has not been done. Mr. Casey said that it is important to get this project done before the window closes in February. Mr. Casey asked if anyone who is going to the next meeting on Wednesday can try to push hard on behalf of the WWC to get it done without excuses. Mr. Hourihan said that the barge was very low in the water when it went out to dump today. Mr. Dobie said they are not making more than one run a day. Mr. Hourihan said he will be there on Wednesday, and Mr. Casey asked him to “raise hell” at the meeting on behalf of the WWC. There was a discussion about whether a wider area of the river will be dredged than was contracted, as per last month’s meeting. Mr. Casey asked Mr. Hourihan to verify this after the meeting on Wednesday. People seemed to think that the channel width will be extended. Mr. Casey said that this matter will be taken up again at the next meeting. As to the expanded harbor mooring field feasibility proposal, Mr. Casey discussed the scope of services proposal dated December 1, and said that the proposal will include the information on the capital plan when it goes before the Board of Selectmen. Mr. Casey said that there is a warrant slot at the next Town Meeting for this item. He asked for input before they meet with the Planning Board next week. Mr. Dobie said that the Finance Committee is usually involved; Mr. Bangert said that it is actually the Advisory Committee that will be involved. Mr. Casey said that the five year window will be automatically renewable for another five years. There was discussion on which areas of the harbor will be considered for dredging.
B) Mr. Casey said that the Department of Public Works and Town Administrator will be getting together to see what can be done to improve Cole Parkway. Mr. Casey said that he does not have any further information at this time, but that having initiated the above meeting work should be able to proceed without a problem. Mr. Regan said that there are funds to make the repairs and improvements.
C) BOATER’S GUIDE TO SCITUATE HARBOR. No action has been taken on this as of this time. Mr Casey said that this will be addressed at the next meeting.
D) There was no update on the situation with the Harbourtown Marina. Mr Casey said that the Trust for Public Lands is taking action and that we will hear when something has happened.
6. NEW BUSINESS. Mr. Casey read a memo from Mr. Fultz regarding a review of the capital plan and update that reflects the new fee schedule and Mr. Regan’s suggestions on new capital projects. (A copy of this memo is attached to the Minutes of this Meeting.) The memo included his suggestions for the warrants to be submitted for Special Town Meeting. There was a discussion about the funds required to prepare a study and do the engineering for the expanded harbor mooring field, and the pros and cons of hiring a consultant as opposed to training a Town staff member for this type of work. Mr. Hourihan said that the permitting process can be full of obstructions and extra costs. Mr. Dobie asked Mr. Regan if additional channel markers had been budgeted for. Mr. Regan said that he works well with the Marshfield Harbormaster and that the channel can be marked out now better than before. Mr. Casey welcomed Mr. Railsbeck, owner of Easy Rider launch service, to the meeting. Mr. Railsbeck spoke about the evolving economics of the harbor.
Respectfully submitted, Jean Martin
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