2012-10-18 / Front Page

Chief gives deadline to boat owner

Bid awarded for repairs at Fort Getty, West Ferry

The owner of the derelict boat that was found parked at Potters Cove in mid-July was given until Monday to move the vessel and pay the fines, Police Chief Ed Mello told the Harbor Commission at its Oct. 10 meeting.

Mello previously identified the boat owner as Daniel Querzoli of Newport.

Mello told the commissioners he was hopeful the owner would “do the right thing.” Otherwise, he said, the town would have to pay to remove the boat from the waters off the Dumplings. The options would be to either demolish the boat or store it. (Mello told the Press Wednesday that the boat was not moved and a warrant was issued for the owner. Arrangements to remove and dispose of the boat begin next week.)

The commission asked if Mello could see any way to recoup the town’s expenses by selling the boat. Unfortunately, Mello said, this vessel is worthless.

“Abandoned boats usually are,” Chairman Michael de Angeli said.

Mello said selling the boat for salvage might be an option, but he was doubtful the move would be financially successful.

In other business, Mello reported that the project to repair the outhauls at Fort Getty and West Ferry had gone out to bid. Town Engineer Michael Gray handled the bid specifications, and Mello said that he expected Gray to present the bid results to the Town Council at its Oct. 15 meeting. (The Town Council accepted Gray’s recommendation and approved the award Monday to Reagan Construction Corporation for a sum not to exceed $64,625.) Mello said he expected the work on the outhauls and dolphins to start as soon as possible.

Commissioner Ed McGuirl raised a question about the height of the cables planned for Fort Getty. According to the drawings, he said the new cables would be set 3 feet high, which is higher than the old ones. McGuirl thinks the cables should be set 2 feet because at low tide it would be “too much of a stretch” for boaters to reach a 3-foot-high cable. He added that the height also might create a diffi cult angle to maneuver.

Mello said he would advise Gray about the change for the Fort Getty work. He added he did not think the contractor would have a problem making the minor adjustment.

McGuirl said the issue only affected the outhauls at Fort Getty. He went on to explain there was no problem about the height shown on the drawings for the West Ferry outhauls.

Mello also reported about the seawall repair project and the rock at East Ferry. The rock, which has informal landmark status, was originally slated for demolition because it was in the way of the project. However, when town councilors asked Gray to spare the rock, he agreed to do so. Mello said the rock will remain approximately in its present location.

In other business, Jerome Scott, member of the Taxpayers Association of Jamestown, spoke during the open forum. He asked about the $15,000 that the town charges the Harbor Commission. Scott wanted to know where the money goes in the town budget. Mello said some money goes toward the Public Works Department because it helps with equipment repairs and stores the boats over the winter. He said the value of the work exceeds the $15,000. de Angeli added that the value comes in saving “headaches” for the harbor offi ce because it doesn’t have to bid on certain services. He could not say for sure where the charge is reflected in the town budget, but would guess the money goes into the general fund.

In other news, Harbormaster Sam Paterson reported that he goes off duty at the end of October. The town’s boats are currently being taken out of the water and prepared for winter storage. de Angeli asked Paterson about pumping out the boats, and Paterson replied the work is being done and the town has a contract to have the work outsourced.

In other business, Commissioner David Cain asked about the status of comments on an aquaculture project slated for Head’s Beach. The commissioners in September decided they would like to weigh in about these projects. This particular proposal, however, caused a difficulty because the drawings were not to scale. The harbor commissioners said they would require proper drawings before they could make a comment. At the September meeting, the panel decided to send its opinion to Town Administrator Bruce Keiser and ask him to communicate with the state. de Angeli said he has not received any reply from Keiser. He said he will follow up with Keiser about the status.

Finally, McGuirl, the liaison to the Conservation Commission, said he attended the conservation meeting on Oct. 9 and discussed a special management area to be established in waters off Fort Getty. The goal is to find and eliminate the sources of water pollution. It would ultimately improve water quality and restore shellfish. McGuirl said Warwick Cove and other parts of Rhode Island have successfully cleaned up polluted coastal areas, and their experiences might serve as models for the type of project he envisions.

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