MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA – The Select Board supports a plan to expand dock space at Morss Pier.
The council reviewed plans for commercial fishing on the pier at its meeting last week. The work to be done is part of the Masconomo Park and Morse Quay improvement project.
City Manager Greg Federspiel said the project is moving forward.
“We were finally given the green light to pursue some design work to expand the commercial fishing pier to include some piers for commercial fishing boats,” he said, citing grant money that funded the project plans.
It may take at least a year to allow work.
“The plans show seven segments that will be added to a new set of buoys that will essentially be parallel to the seawall,” Federspiel said. “The plan calls for those seven parcels and there’s also a small connector buoy. The idea is to create a promenade so people can enjoy the waterfront up close and personal.”
The Select Board voted 5-0 to move forward with permitting the work.
The “main” floats under consideration will be open to the public. Federspiel said there were some concerns about the aesthetics of the connected buoy, related to the height of the props.
“My understanding is that he is not adding supports on this connector,” he said. “There are props on both ends.”
A final decision on this aspect of the project can be made at a later date. Discussing the project was an effort to update board members and consider whether they were comfortable with the design plans, Federspiel said.
“It makes sense to pursue the final design and licensing as presented,” he said. “Then, you can decide later whether you want to pursue floating the connector or not.”
Board Vice President John Round had questions about the props that will be part of the project. Federspiel indicated that it will include nine pillars.
“Those are on the side, if one stands at the end of the canal,” said Round. “You really won’t see the props.”
No matter the scope of the business, people will notice the change. “Here, this is downtown,” Round said.
The pillars will be visible, Federspiel said, adding that they may be made of steel. “You don’t want to sugarcoat that,” he said.
Board member Brian Solusi said the construction project may see “some pushback” from residents.
Federspiel expects the project will take some getting used to.
“It is a change and there will be a period of adjustment,” he said.
Stephen Hagan can be reached at 978-675-2708 or email@example.com.