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Stalled Pier Project Back on Track

Town officials are hoping to have the pier at Stramski Beach finished and open this summer.

Now that an appeal filed by abutters has been shot down, town officials overseeing the construction of a pier at are hoping to open in time for the summer boating season.

At a Harbor & Waters Board meeting Monday night, board chairman Gary Gregory announced that a representative of the state's Department of Environmental Protection has recommended that an appeal filed by Stramski Way resident Jill Goodman be dismissed.

Earlier this spring, aimed at having the pier extension re-angled to provide "better depth and better aesthetics," Gregory said.

"Basically, (The DEP) said aesthetics are not appropriate grounds for appealing our decision," Gregory said. "She also didn't provide any evidence indicating that angling the extension would alleviate" a problem with floats grounding out at low tide.

The superseding order of conditions attached to the project required that the pier's floats don't ground out at low tide. That condition, Gregory said, has since been clarified to require that the floats don't ground out at "mean low water level."

Although he said the DEP's determination arrived last month, Gregory said the department granted Goodman a 30-day extension to file an another appeal because she changed her email address.

"Basically they went through a whole delay because the allegation is that she didn't get the email notice that was sent out," Gregory said. "And that doesn't change anything - the appeal is all done and she had until mid-May to respond."

Now board members are just waiting for a signature from DEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell to get workers back on site.

"They can't drive the additional six pilings and put the deck on until they get the final notice from him," Gregory said. "Presumably (the pier) will be done sometime this year, hopefully in time for the bulk of the season."

Harbormaster Webb Russell said he will meet with contractors next week to talk about installing a fence near the entrance to the pier.

A handful of picnic tables have been arranged behind the that Recreation and Parks Commission members hope to open as a .

If all goes as planned, Russell said the "best-case scenario" would be opening the pier to the public sometime in mid-July.

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