The Wanderer - Mobile Edition

MARION SELECTMEN'S MEETING

Selectmen OK Boat Storage

Marion Board of Selectmen

By Jean Perry

The Marion Board of Selectmen on September 16 approved a license for A & J Boatworks to resume using Town-owned property adjacent to the company to store boats until June of 2015.

Elizabeth Kunz, attorney for Rich Patten, told Selectmen Jody Dickerson and Stephen Cushing that for years the company had stored boats during the winter on the property once owned by the Jenney family. The Town of Marion acquired the land in 1996, and Patten continued to use the parcel referred to as Lot 41a until this past June when the Marion Conservation Commission discovered the unauthorized use of Town property.

Kunz said the letter brought the matter to Patten's attention and requested the company remove the boats at once. Kunz stated that, luckily, it was June and boats were being returned to the water, so there was no problem with removing the boats at the immediate time. However, now is a different story, since boats are coming back out of the water for winter storage and A & J Boatworks has no alternate place to put them.

In the meantime, Kunz said the company is requesting a license to use the property until June 2015 while it looks to purchase other property, which perhaps could result in a land swap with the Town in exchange for Lot 41a.

"You know, this is not unprecedented," said Town Administrator Paul Dawson, adding that it was a reasonable solution that could satisfy all parties. "I think it makes perfect sense to accommodate this."

Dawson said the Town could wind up with a more desirable parcel of land - like sensitive wetlands or open space - as a result of allowing the boats to remain temporarily on the lot while Patten looks for a resolution.

"It could be a win-win situation," said Dawson.

Patten added that there would be no boat work done on the property, just the exclusive winter storage of some shrink-wrapped boats.

"There's been boats there for years and years," said Dickerson, and the board approved the license to use the property until June 2015.

Also during the meeting, Planning Board member Norman Hills, on behalf of the Master Plan Subcommittee, gave a brief update on the progress of the Master Plan development process. The Town has not updated its Master Plan in about a decade.

Hills said there are eight essential parts to the Master Plan, including policies, housing, economic development, and finally, "the implementation of any action items that come out of this." He said it is important to identify the key priorities the Town will want to address over the next ten years and how it is going to progress over time.

Hills announced a "Marion Master Plan Visioning Workshop" scheduled for September 27 at the Marion Music Hall from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

"The worst case is nobody shows up," said Cushing. He said if you are a resident and you want to have a say on what direction the Town should take, then you should attend the workshop or risk "being part of something that you might not like."

In other matters, the board approved an invoice totaling $605 to pay for the installation of a light at the entrance to the parking lot across from the Marion Music Hall, as well as a contract for a consultant to oversee the engineering management of the River Road construction project.

Dawson asked the board to table discussion pertaining to Veterans Agent William Titcomb's announcement that he will resign from his position at the end of September.

A death in the family, said Dawson, resulted in Dawson's absence from Town Hall and he had not had enough time to prepare the information selectmen would need to decide whether to advertise for the position or consider regionalizing the department. He also preferred Selectman Chairman Jon Henry be present for discussion, as he was absent from the meeting that evening.

The next meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for October 7 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

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