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Present: Susan Murphy, Hingham Planning Board; John Riley, Selectmen, Ben Wilcox, HDIC; Alan Perrault Harbor Development Committee; Ken Corson, Harbormaster; Katy Lacy, Town Planner; Cliff Prentiss, Conservation Agent.
The voting members of the Committee voted to approve the Minutes of September 14, 2009.
Update from the Harbormaster
Ken Corson provided an update of various issues relative to the Harbor. He indicated that he had received information about a possible new type of mooring that did not use a mushroom-type anchor, and understood that there was interest on the part of some residents to look into it or test it out. Ken said that he would look further into whether a change in mooring type would benefit the Town. At this point, however, there is no funding available for a wholesale change in mooring type.
The Harbormaster reported that he is still gathering information on how to structure an RFP that the Town could issue for mooring maintenance and launch service in the Inner Harbor. John Riley noted that the purpose of issuing such an RFP would be to give the Town more control on how the mooring basin was managed, as well as to generate revenue for the Town. Ms. Lacy suggested that, in light of the various alternatives relative to how to address the RFP, as well as the pros and cons of issuing such RFP in the first place, that it would be good to place this on the next agenda as a topic for more in-depth discussion.
In terms of the Dredging, all of the moorings have been removed from the Harbor, as well as many of the slips. The High School Rowing Program will continue to use the slips at the Lincoln Maritime Center as long as possible based on the constraints of the mooring project. A preconstruction meeting for the mooring project is scheduled for Tuesday, October 13.
The Harbormaster is continuing to work on a revised set of mooring regulations, and will provide Task Force members with a draft when he is done.
The Harbor Master reported that he had submitted a grant application to the Boating Infrastructure Improvement Program to construct a new dinghy dock, but had not heard back.
Ben Wilcox reported that Mass Highway has approved the preliminary plans for the removal of the Hingham Rotary. As the project moves forward the HDIC hopes to integrate their goals for improvement to the portion of sidewalk crossing over the Town Brook. This could be done by simply removing all of the items currently blocking the sidewalk, or by adding a sidewalk bridge span on the water side of the bulk-head. Mr. Wilcox and Mr. Riley discussed the pros and cons of submitting an Application for CPC funding should the highway project not proceed. The Committee decided that these issues should addressed in more detail at a subsequent meeting.
Mr. Perrault said that Nick Amdur had met with a woman who provides a “goose management” program using her dogs to chase the birds away on a regular basis. At this point she had not gotten back to Mr. Amdur with a price.
Ms. Lacy provided a rough draft of the Task Force report, and asked all members to review and add information as needed.
Mr. Riley discussed his goals for the Town to develop a marina and eating facility on the Harbor. He noted that his objectives were 1) to increase the level of activity and public access at the Harbor, and 2) to generate much-needed funds to support Town functions such as the Harbormaster’s Office and DPW, who provide invaluable services for Harbor users. He walked through the pros and cons of three potential locations for such a facility: 1) From Whitney Wharf to the western edge of 26 Summer Street, including the Veterans Park, Mobil Station and the tidal flats between Whitney Wharf and 26 Summer Street; 2) Extending out into the water from the current location of the band stand, and 3) the area from the boat ramp to the Town Pier.
Ms. Lacy noted that all three options presented numerous issues relative to constraints stemming from preservation restrictions, zoning, and environmental regulations. Mr. Perrault noted that they would also require a significant financial investment. Mr. Riley noted the importance of identifying the option that worked best for the Town first, and then examining the constraints afterwards.
Mr. Riley suggested that, in light of time, that the discussion of current zoning in the two districts in the harbor (Waterfront Business and Official and Open Space) be put off to the next meeting. He also noted that there had been a suggestion from the Historical Commission of creating a new Historic District that would extend from the edge of the Lincoln Historic District (which ends at the Iron Horse) up Summer Street to Martins Lane. This would be discussed in more detail, with a representative from the Historical Commission, at the next meeting.
The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday October 14 at 7:00 PM