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ConsCom Approves Emergency Order, Bails Out Local Float Owners

The Conservation Commission unanimously approved an emergency order to move along the annual process of removing and storing of floats and docks at Riverhead Beach.

At a meeting Thursday night that drew an overflow crowd to the lower-level conference room of the Mary Alley Municipal Building, Conservation Commission members unanimously approved an emergency order granting the Recreation and Parks Commission permission to move forward with the annual task of pulling seasonal docks and floats from Marblehead Harbor.

Prior to approving the emergency order, a public hearing was held regarding a notice of intent filed by the Recreation and Parks Commission to haul and store seasonal docks, floats and lobster traps at Devereux and Riverhead Beach.

Until the Conservation Commission officially ruled on the application, the hauling in of floats and docks and the storage of boats and lobster traps had been temporarily suspended at the time of year when most local residents are looking to pull their property from the water.

Recreation and Parks Superintendent Brendan Egan presented commission members with a detailed plan of the proposed storage areas and explained in depth how damage to the surrounding beach environment would be avoided while docks, boats and floats are repaired and cleaned in designated work areas.

After the Recreation and Parks Commission's application was unanimously approved, Conservation Commission members quickly passed a motion granting an emergency order to move along the process of clearing out the harbor.

Egan stressed the importance of getting the docks and floats ashore as soon as possible and said acting quickly was "necessary to prevent harm to public health and safety in the likely event of inclement weather and its impact on the causeway and seawall."

Commission member Brian W. LeClair, who oversaw the meeting on behalf of Chairman Walter Haug, echoed Egan's concern for the docks and floats during hurricane season.

"I think given the weather, it would be my recommendation that we proceed with the emergency certification since we don't meet again until November," LeClair said.

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Proposed Work Activities

  • Winter storage of floats, gangways, mooring blocks, boats, trailers and lobster traps and in areas shown on the plan.
  • Launching of floats, gangways, and mooring blocks in the spring of each year.
  • Retrieval of floats, gangways, and mooring blocks in the fall of each year.
  • Repairs and maintenance of floats and gangways in area shown on the plan.
  • Construction of new floats, gangways, and mooring blocks in area shown on the plan.
  • Installation of a seasonal shelter (ie. Quonset hut) for construction of new floats and maintenance of existing floats.
  • Routine maintenance and repairs to existing buildings and structures at Devereux Beach and Riverhead Beach.
  • Mowing and trimming activities at Devereux Beach and Riverhead Beach parking areas.
  • Routine removal of accumulated sand from concrete boat launching ramp.
  • Beach cleaning activities including removal of trash and accumulated sea weed and debris by raking with a York Rake attached to a John Deere Gator model XUV.
  • Temporary storage of seaweed and debris cleaned from beaches.
  • Routine grading and maintenance of gravel parking areas.
  • Seasonal installation of wooden boardwalks, handicap access mat, signs and lifeguard chairs.

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