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Task Force members present: Susan Murphy, Planning Board; Ben Wilcox, HDIC; Nick Amdur and Alan Perrault, Harbor Development Committee; John Riley, Board of Selectmen, Ken Corson, Harbormaster, and Katy Lacy, Town Planner.
In the audience Nick and Susan Bonn, Dana Baxter, Ferd Lucas, Sturt English, Betsy Harlow, and Ellen Dresser, Lincoln Sailing Center; Jim Clark, Tom Patch, and M.J. Shultz joined the meeting.
The meeting commenced at 7:10 PM
The group reviewed and voted to approve the Minutes of July 13, 2009.
Ms. Murphy brought the group up to speed on a few of the issues identified at previous meetings. Aquarion Water has been contacted about referring developers to the Bathhouse at the Hingham Bathing as a property that could be retrofitted to comply with a developers water balance requirements. Ben Wilcox has been looking into potential grant opportunities that the Town could apply for to improve the Harbor.
Input from Property Owners and Tenants at the Harbor
The Task Force asked each of the three property owners and representatives from the Lincoln Sailing Center to provide an update on their plans for the respective properties, and any insights that they might have about the future of the Harbor area.
Nick Bonn, owner of Bare Cove Marina at 3 Otis Street, reported that they were operating a 16-slip marina at the site. Additionally, they lease dock space to a private launch service operator who also serves many of the moorings. The number of slips is limited by the amount of available parking per the Town’s zoning requirement. In the future Mr. Bonn would like to identify additional parking or seek relief from the parking requirements in order to expand the marina back to the 32 slips that were installed in 2002/2003. The building on site is currently used as a marina office and maintenance area. They have been approached by a retailer looking to open a chandlery-type of business, but are currently restricted by the amount of available parking.
Dana Baxter reported that he and his business partner, John Kenney, have the property at 26 Summer Street under agreement. The property includes a 44-slip marina and small 2-story office building, along with un-marked parking for up to 60 cars. The current owner, Tom Hastings, received the permits to construct a 9000 square foot office building on this site, but at this point Mr. Baxter simply plans on operating the site as a marina.
Ferd Lucas, owner of the Gallery 360 Site, stated that he purchased the 8800 square foot property from the Mobile Oil Company in 1975. Since that time, he has been operating a real estate office on the site. Mr. Lucas stated that he has no plans to change the use of the site at this time.
Ellen Dresser, Executive Director of the Lincoln Maritime Center, and Sturt English, President of the Lincoln Maritime Center, provided an overview of current activities at LMC, which include a busy schedule of lessons and programs extending from March to November each year. They are currently 2 or 3 years into a five-year lease from the Town for the properties at Barnes and Steamboat Wharf.
Several years ago they received permits to plans to move some of their current operations to Steamboat Wharf, though at this point this “expansion” has not occurred. They hope to move forward with their planned expansion when the economy improves.
Input from the Harbormaster
Ken Corson, Acting Hingham Harbormaster, provided a “wish list” of projects and activities as follows:
1. Dinghy Dock (to provide access for boaters who want to row out to their own mooring rather than us the launch service.)
2. Shore-Based Pump-Out Facility (currently being designed by the State)
3. Replacement Float/Slips at Town Pier
4. Re-organization of Basin Mooring Field (new mooring plan is intended to allow to more boats to fit into the harbor.
5. Public Restrooms
6. Town Marina (intended to generate more revenue for the Town)
7. Seasonal Harbormaster’s Office (year-round office will be located at Shipyard)
8. Bathing Beach
a. Routine Beach Raking
b. New Swim Line
c. Bathhouse Improvements
d. Swim Marker
9. Camping at Langley Island-need to get the word out that this resource is available
10. Create formal kayak launching site
11. Move forward on Goose Eradication Plan
12. Improve Harbormaster website
13. Provide additional parking if needed
14. Beach Grass, Rosa Rugosa and Beach Pea planting to prevent beach erosion
15. Commercial Fish Pier? This would provide access to additional grant funds.
16. Reorganize mooring field at “Gunkhole” near World’s End.
17. Organize mooring field at Hingham Yacht Club
18. Straighten out mooring field at Shipyard (many of the moored boats do not have Town mooring licenses).
19. Look into how to best utilize mooring and dock area in Back River
Discussion of Grant Opportunities
There was a brief discussion of potential grant opportunities, focusing on the BIG (Boating Infrastructure Grant) program, and its possible use to assist with the preparation of a mooring plan. Ken Corson and Katy Lacy agreed to look into this more for the next meeting.
The next meeting was scheduled for August 24
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM