A Frugal Harbormaster Presents in Marion

Known for his frugality – which is a positive term meaning a wise use of resources, manpower and money – Marion Harbormaster Michael Cormier came before the Capital Improvement Planning Committee on Thursday evening with his department’s requests for fiscal year 2015 – 2016.

“The outboard motor on the pump out-boat, as well as the work boat engine, need to be replaced,” said Cormier. Cormier explained that the pump-out boat pumps out an estimated 34,000 pounds of sewage per boating season. “The boat is a 2008 model and has 1400 hours on it and we paid approximately $2,000 in repairs this past season … so it’s time to replace the motor,” said Cormier.

Cormier plans to replace the pump-out boat motor with a state-of-the-art motor that would reduce the normal wear and tear associated with the constant shifting of the gears. Working with a Department of Fisheries grant, Cormier received a government bid for the motor in the amount of $17,107 which would be 75% reimbursed. “We’d pay approximately $4,277 out of pocket, but we will put the old motor out to bid and will recoup most of that,” said Cormier.

Cormier said that the existing motors will be offered ‘by bid’ to interested parties, and whatever amount is finalized will go back into the Waterways Account.

The work boat engine is a 2009 model with over 1400 hours on it. Recent maintenance costs were $1,600. The cost to replace the motor is estimated at $20,594.64. According to Cormier, with the amount of hours on the engine and the costly breakdowns, it is no longer cost effective to maintain the motor.

“I feel confident that the auction bids for the two motors (pump-out boat and work boat) will help lower the overall cost. The total cost of the project is $25,000 but will be supported by a transfer from the harbor waterways account, thus presenting no burden to the taxpayer,” said Cormier.

The Capital Improvement Planning Committee meets at the Marion Police Station on Thursday evenings and future appointments feature Rob Zora from the Department of Public Works at the February 13 meeting and Facilities Director Sean Cormier on February 20. On February 27, Fire Chief Tomas Joyce will present his requests. The committee is always seeking new members to help the town oversee fiscal issues. Visitors are always welcome and encouraged to attend.

The purpose of the committee is to review requests, ask questions on behalf of the town residents, and make recommendations regarding which items may or may not appear on the town warrant for town meeting approval or disapproval. The committee encourages any town residents who are interested in the day-to-day operation of the town and in the future tax implications of decisions to attend their meetings and provide input.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry


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