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Waterways Commission, May 18, 2004
MAY 18, 2004
SPECIAL MEETING: HARBOR USE
Mr. Casey thanked everyone for their efforts in attending this special meeting.
Mr. Casey handed out a copy of a draft project fact sheet regarding the purchase by the Town of Harbourtown Marina for $4.175 million. He said that one of the most significant variables from the meeting of May 12 was an independent assessment of the property; the goal was to have it for tonight in time for the Selectmen’s Meeting later this evening. If the assessment is less than the asking price it could become an issue.
He said that the financing would be cash up front from the CPA, this will then come under the WW Enterprise Fund and be paid by user fees with the same other requirements as all other revenue for the Enterprise Fund. He said that the working name for the project is Scituate Waterfront Park; the notion is that this will be a true maritime resource providing services to the Town in ways that reflect the maritime interest of the Town. At Town Meeting it will be made clear that when the article is approved the Town will invite a group of citizens to be represented on a committee that will plan what this resource will be come over the years. It will operate as a marina for a period of five years; it will be run and will generate revenue of $.25 million a year. Mr. Regan said that Mr. Wally Foster, the crane operator, will continue to operate the facility; he has a buyout for $300,000. Mr. Fairbanks asked how the discrepancy in the slip fee will be handled. Mr. Casey said that it will be recommended that fees remain as they are for this year; Mr. Regan confirmed this, and said that the Town would get a prorated fee. Next year would then be open. Mr. Casey said that preference will be given to Scituate boaters there starting next year. Forty four slips could be made exclusively available to Scituate boaters. Mr. Fultz said that he wasn’t sure this could be done. Mr. Casey said that Town Counsel is investigating this, and that the Town owns the land; the goal is to give preference to Town residents. The presentation to Town Meeting will be open, without a great deal of detail except that the location will be a marine facility. There was a discussion about ownership of mooring fields. Mr. Dobie said that the opposition might bring up the golf course, which was not self-sustaining. He suggested that if there are shortfalls it could be suggested that the Enterprise Fund would pick them up. Mr. Casey confirmed that the Enterprise Fund will be entirely responsible for the funding of this project. Mr. Casey said that it is an important point that this is not a taxpayer burden; the argument could be made that the CPA is taxpayer funded, but Mr. Casey said that this project is entirely within its purview. The bond will be through the Enterprise Fund. Mr. Casey said that the Harbormaster will be integral to the operation of the facility. Mr. Regan said that he will run the marina and will support recreation although he will not be involved with it. He said there will have to be a budget, and he went over some of the details of this. Mr. Fultz went over some of the Enterprise Fund projects under way. Mr. Casey went over how the Special Town Meeting will present this particular project, and mentioned some of the items in the draft that are suggestions as to how the land may be used. Mr. Casey said that the building inspector has looked at the structures on the property, and said that there could be restrictions on the use of the large red barn, which could be used as a marine repair shop, or a small office, much as it is used now. From a conservation standpoint, the Town would be under the same restrictions as the current owner has been. Mr. Fairbanks asked if the marina would be tied into the Town sewer, as the property’s current owner has not been permitted to do so; this could create problems in the future, if the Town is able to hook in, but this would be necessary in order to accommodate a sailing program. Mr. Casey said that the ownership and use of the marina could only benefit the Town over time. Mr. Fairbanks brought up liability insurance, which created a problem for the golf course. He asked how this could create a problem for the marina. Mr. Casey said that the Town has had much experience with this. Mr. Jones said that the contractor will bear the responsibility for the insurance.
Mr. Casey asked if there was a Motion to support the acquisition of Harbourtown by the Town for the sum of $4.175 million. Mr. Regan made the MOTION, and Mr. Dobie SECONDED the motion; all present were in favor by unanimous vote.
Mr. Dobie then made a MOTION to adjourn the meeting; the motion was SECONDED by Mr. Murray. Mr. Casey adjourned the meeting at 7:30 P.M.
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