Leisure Shores was once again on the agenda of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission. This time, however, they were represented not only by Attorney Shepard Johnson, Dana Barrow, and Brandon Faneuf of Pro-Line Engineering, but also by Robert Ringuette, Jr. and his brother, Michael. Robert Ringuette, Sr. had requested that his sons assist in the process of providing documents and understanding to the issues that have plagued the operation and various governing boards in town for several years.
After lengthy debate and discussions, the applicant and the Commission were finally able to agree that progress was being made. The most significant issues from the commission’s point of view were determined to be the historic wetland delineations to find out what areas have been filled in, ongoing clean-up and maintenance of floats, and a master plan for replacement of Styrofoam floats.
Faneuf had completed a number of soil tests on behalf of the applicant to research if areas that had been filled in were originally wetlands or marshlands. He provided his test results, noting that he did not find suspect areas with the exception of one location. However, Chairman Peter Newton pressed for peer review of Faneuf’s work to ensure that the town’s concerns were, in fact, being fully researched and that any questionable areas or test results could be evaluated by an objective expert. Newton said, “One of our concerns is getting outside resources for peer review.” He continued, “We have not been afforded the opportunity to witness the testing.” Robert Ringuette, Jr. felt that the cost for an outside consultant should not be the sole expense of his family’s business. However, after further conversation, he agreed to pay up to $2,000 for a peer review consultant.
On the issue of pollution and necessary clean-up of the site, Harbormaster Jill Simmons gave a brief photographic presentation of images she took on January 16 and contrasted some site locations against the condition of the site as far back as 1996. It was apparent that several locations had been filled in. She also displayed images of current pollution throughout the site and abutting properties from the degrading float system. Gary Johnson of the Mattapoisett Land Trust also brought pictures of pollution washing ashore on Land Trust property. He was concerned about bearing the continuing cost when the Land Trust volunteers clean-up the property and take it to the landfill. Barrow said they could place the material in the trash container at the marina.
Continuing on the theme of deteriorating Styrofoam floats, Ringuette presented the results of his research on alternatives and various regulatory agencies’ guidance. Finding little in the way of regulatory guidance, he sourced manufacturers for products that might be acceptable. He gave the commission their plan to replace damaged floats with new fully-encapsulated units with heavy-duty walls to be fully completed over the next five years. He pegged the cost at approximately $260,000.
Korrin Petersen, Senior Attorney for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, also spoke on behalf of the need to clean up the pollution for the health of the bay, and she urged the applicant to continue on the path he has taken to begin replacing floats with those that are fully encapsulated.
The applicant was instructed to come back with a fully detailed amendment to their current application that will list the various projects that need completion, how those will be executed, and timelines. The hearing was postponed for two more weeks to give Ringuette sufficient time to update the application.
Earlier in the evening, the commission heard from David Davignon of Schneider & Associates who came before the commission for a Request for Determination for applicants David and Joanne Cameron of 10 Mattakiset Road. The commission voted to approve the project to renovate a porch into a sunroom with a negative determination.
They also heard from Robert Field of Field Engineering regarding property located at the Mattapoisett Industrial Park. An unpermitted eight-foot berm straddling two parcels is holding up the sale of lot #36. The commission suggested that the two parties involved come to some resolution for the removal of the berm that would then allow the commission to close out the application. They did vote to approve a partial Certificate of Compliance.
Mattapoisett Conservation meets again on February 10 at 6:30 pm.
By Marilou Newell