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News/Events - Meeting Minutes
Waterways Commission, October 4, 2004
OCTOBER 4, 2004
MEMBERS PRESENT: Jim Casey, Chairman; Keith Dobie, Geoff Gaughan, Pat Murray, Rick Murray, Robert McHugh, Howie Kreutzberg, John Shea.
1. Chairman Jim Casey called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M. at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Annex.
2. Approval of the Minutes of the September Meeting was postponed as Minutes were not available for discussion.
3. REVIEW OF CORRESPONDENCE. There was no new correspondence to review at this time.
4. HARBORMASTERíS REPORT. The Harbormaster was not present at the meeting. Mark Patterson, serving as interim Harbormaster, provided the Harbormasterís report. He said that Mr. Reganís health is continuing to improve. Mr. Patterson said that the Harbormasterís office is in the process of wrapping up the season, with boats needing to be out of the slips by October 15. They are starting to spin up for the operation of the new marina (Harbourtown). The South River mooring people are being informed about upcoming dredging activities. The Coast Guard station is now closed, as of Thursday, September 30.
5. OLD BUSINESS. Regarding the South River dredging projects, Fultz noted that while the contractor (M.A.T. Marine) had requested a start date of September 27 for the dredging of the river, that they had not started and are unlikely to begin until early-mid October. No firm date has yet been established. M.A.T. Marine is also interested perhaps in being involved with the project to dredge the mouth of the river as part of a Ďchange orderí or a new bid, but they have since realized that they are cannot bid for reasons relating to their bonding ability. Regarding permitting, there has been much correspondence with and assistance from various town officials, Sen. Delahuntís office, Rep. Hynesís office, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), etc. The original plan needs to be modified so that material can be dumped inshore off of Humarock for beneficial use to help with erosion, whereas the original plan called for more offshore dumping. Fultz drew attention to the increasing complexity of permitting due to real and/or perceived communication issues within and between the state and federal agencies. Town committees and agencies are all on-board and currently working with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) on some of the paperwork, but MA DEP misplaced various documents due to some personnel changes in their office.
Regarding the dredging of the mouth of the river, if M.A.T. Marine is out of the picture (which still remains to be determined), the cost to dredge the river mouth is likely to be higher, due to the incurring of additional mobilization costs that would need to be charged if another contractor is used. M.A.T. Marine was anticipated to save on mobilization costs since they would already be in the area doing the main river project. The question for WWC is to go ahead with the bidding process or to wait until next year. Mr. Casey requested a discussion of the finances, and after much discussion it was determined that the Town meeting has already authorized the use of $332,000 from the Enterprise Fund to be used for this project, but that it was unclear as to whether the actual cost to do the full project would be covered by that amount of money, particularly given the mobilization costs needed if M.A.T. Marine does not get involved. M.A.T. Marine may also have issues regarding their ability to continue to secure bond. Mr. Reidy wondered why the Town would be interested in continuing business with M.A.T. Marine given their track record on the project involving dredging of the South River. Mr. Fultz noted that the only recourse the Town would have, regarding the river project, would be to declare M.A.T. Marine in default, which would then involve their bonding company and tie the Town up for years, let alone the fact that no dredging would be done this coming fall and winter. Mr. Fultz further noted that there is every indication that M.A.T. Marine would be finishing the river project this year. Mr. Casey asked about the hazard to boaters, and Mr. Dobie asked if this could be declared an Ďemergencyí to help expedite the dredging/permitting. Mr. Fultz said that Town Counsel had advised that this was not an option. Mr. Casey suggested that we put it out to bid, recognizing that the Town is not obligated to award. Mr. Fultz reviewed the schedule, which would have the bid due on November 3, the Selectmen signing on November 9, the pre-dredge survey by November 19, and November 23 to mobilize for a November 29 start of the project. Mr. Dobie and several others suggested that the pre-dredge survey be completed prior to the award of the contract, so that the scope of the project can be more precisely determined. Mr. Casey summarized that in the interest of keeping the project moving, and acknowledging that the Town has already approved the $332K in financing, that the bidding process continue with the pre-dredge occurring as suggested. Mr. Patterson questioned whether the Enterprise Fund could support this expenditure in the context of its myriad other projects (Cole Parkway, new marina, and other South River project), but Mr. Casey noted that we are not moving beyond what the Town has already authorized. Mr. Fairbanks suggested we contact M.A.T. Marineís bonding company to gain further information as to the potential viability of these projectsí completion with this particular contractor. The discussion concluded with the following MOTION, made by Mr. Dobie and SECONDED by Mr. McHugh:
That the Town put out the bid for the South River mouth dredging project, but that prior to an award being made the pre-dredge survey be conducted and results from this survey be included in the decision as to whether the successful bid would accomplish a satisfactory amount of the project.
The MOTION was unanimously approved, and Mr. Fultz and Mr. Casey will contact the Town Administrator for implementation.
Regarding the pending acquisition of Harbourtown Marina, Casey thanked all who had worked hard at achieving the successful Town vote, including the Advisory Board, the Board of Selectmen, the Harbormasterís Office, other Town committees, and the Waterways Commission itself, on this endeavor that has been nearly two years in the making. The closing will occur on October 27, with an inspection tour occurring prior to the passing of papers. Ms. Donahue reminded Mr. Casey that the inspection would need to occur with sufficient lead time ahead of the closing so that deficiencies noted can be dealt with. Mr. Fairbanks requested that the survey include determining the precise locations of all submerged hardware regarding slips and moorings. Mr. McHugh noted that there was some immediate work that needed to be done on the gangways, and that these should be the responsibility of the current owner. Mr. Hourihan noted that there may be some outstanding fines against the current owner, and that these should be clarified prior to acquisition.
Mr. Casey suggested that the next step would involve the constituting of a committee to start the discussion on the makeup of the new park/marina/boatyard. Mr. Casey asked the WWC to send him comments regarding how to best constitute this committee, and to whom it should report, and other matters. The overall idea is to have the committee be managed through the WWC, with the results vetted through the WWC prior to reporting to the Town. This overall subject will then be an agenda item for our next meeting. Casey reiterated his commitment to the general idea of the committee being composed of many interested parties, that the meetings be open, and oriented towards developing a balanced plan.
Mr. Fultz noted that there were several permitting actions that needed to be started immediately, so as to ensure that the marina was able to continue operations for next year, and in particular with regard to Chapter 91 licensing. Mr. Casey asked Mr. Patterson to check with Harbormaster Regan prior to Mr. Fultz beginning this process. Mr. Fultz also said that he was going to continue his work towards identifying additional funding sources, considering the multi-use nature of the marina/park. Mr. Dobie requested that attention also be paid to recreation-related grants. Mr. Casey asked Mr. Fultz to provide a report on these activities for the next meeting.
6. NEW BUSINESS. Regarding communication between the Coast Guard and the Harbormasterís Office, Mr. Casey reported he will have progress to report on this at the next meeting.
Mr. Kreutzberg queried as to how the user fee collection process was coming along, and whether a new plan had been proposed and/or accepted by the Selectmen. Mr. Patterson said that he will provide feedback on this at the next meeting.
7. ADJOURNMENT. The next meeting of the Waterways Commission will be held on Monday, November 1, 2004. On a MOTION by Mr. Dobie, SECONDED by Mr. McHugh, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 P.M.
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