Historic Long Wharf Repairs Coming

            During the May 30 meeting of the Mattapoisett Marine Advisory Board (MAB), members were starting to smile as they heard from Chairman Carlos DaSousa that Long Wharf repairs have not been forgotten.

            The condition of the historic wharf, built in the 1800’s at the height of the boat building era, has been a concern for not only the MAB and Selectmen, but also for boaters who depend on the wharf. 

            DaSousa said that Field Engineering had provided some preliminary drawings to begin the process of scoping out just what the structure needed. He added that the town had engaged Foth-CLE Engineering Group to develop construction drawings from which the bidding could take place. 

            In a follow-up with Town Administrator Mike Gagne, he told The Wandererthat in the Fall, once the construction documents have been completed, the town could apply for a B.I.G Grant, or Boating Infrastructure Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. According to Gagne, those monies could be as much as $180,000. He added that at the Town’s Fall Special Town Meeting, the Selectmen would be asking voters to appropriate $60,000 to cover the cost of developing the construction documents.

            As an aside, Gagne said, the position for a full-time harbormaster had just been posted on professional platforms such as The Beacon and Massachusetts Harbormasters Association, and would also be advertised in local media. At the Spring Town Meeting, voters approved a plan to expand the harbormaster position to full-time from seasonal. The Selectmen had supported the change believing that the town’s biggest asset was its waterfront and that the Waterfront Enterprise Fund could financially support the change.

            Regarding the town’s new pump-out boat, Harbormaster Jill Simmons told The Wandereron May 31 that several pieces of electronic equipment still needed to be installed and that the hose connections needed to be relocated to the rear of the boat from the center console. She mentioned she is also waiting on the delivery of weather-proofing materials for the GPS equipment. Simmons thought that the boat would be ready in about two weeks to provide sanitary pumping services. In the meantime, boaters aren’t without a place to clean-out their holding tanks.

            Simmons said that the pump-out service located at the end of Long Wharf was available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. For those needing assistance at the shore-side sanitary unit, staff are available from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm at the present time.

            Recently the new boat, which has hose equipment and pumps capable of dewatering marine craft, was used as part of a rescue when a 46-foot wooden boat was recently launched and immediately began to take on water.

            Simmons also commented on a plan she rolled out to the MAB during their April 25 meeting. At that time she said she’d be narrowing the channel coming into the inner-harbor from 500-feet to 300-feet. She said this was necessary because visitors who are not familiar with the local marine rules oftentimes exceed the 5-mile-per-hour speed sending wakes that rock boats moored nearby. “It’s not too bad if you are on the deck, but if someone is working up on a mast, they’ll be rocking and rolling … It’s dangerous,” she stated.

            The next meeting of the Marine Advisory Board is scheduled for June 27 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Marine Advisory Board

By Marilou Newell

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