The extensive Great River Boat Ramp rehabilitation and expansion project will begin shortly after Columbus Day in October.
Mashpee Department of Public Works director Catherine E. Laurent unveiled design plans for the project at the board of selectmen meeting on Monday evening, August 25.
The project is being funded by a $650,000 Community Preservation Act appropriation approved by Town Meeting voters last October.
The project is expected to take 30 to 60 days, weather permitting, to complete.
Plans call for installation of a new ramp, a floating dock and pier which can easily be removed from the water in the event of severe weather, new drainage structures, and an expanded parking lot to accommodate up to 20 vehicles and trailers. A viewing platform for the public to enjoy the view from the landing will also be constructed.
Selectman Andrew R. Gottlieb recommended that construction begin later in the fall, expressing concern that boaters may not be able to remove watercraft at the end of the season, or in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane. The Great River boat ramp is the town’s only public access to Waquoit Bay, is used extensively year-round, and is the only ramp that can be used any time of the day, regardless of the tide.
Ms. Laurent explained that delaying the project until late fall or early winter would not be possible, as much of the work involving concrete could not be done in the cold weather. She also said that if need be, boaters could temporarily use the nearby state ramp at White’s Landing in East Falmouth.
The board of selectmen voted unanimously to approve the plan and endorse it to the Mashpee Conservation Commission, which will be reviewing the project design on October 9.
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The board of selectmen unanimously approved requests to hire three new town employees, including a part-time clerk in town clerk’s office, as well as a firefighter/paramedic.
The board also approved a request by Mashpee Public Library director Kathleen M. Mahoney to hire a circulation assistant, but not before concerns expressed by a library volunteer during the public comment session at the start of the meeting.
Ernest Buss addressed the selectmen, saying that the circulation assistant duties are “the most mundane thing you can do at the library,” and the task should be handled by volunteers.
Ms. Mahoney later explained that the position that needs to be filled was created 10 years ago, and that the library has stopped using volunteers for circulation duties. She did, however, stress that there are many other opportunities for volunteers at the library.
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Two new firefighter/paramedics will be joining the Mashpee Fire Department on September 8. The board unanimously approved and certified the hiring of Thomas Deeg of Eastham and Gerard West of Mashpee.
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Selectman Carol A. Sherman, who also serves as president of the Mashpee Economic Development and Industrial Corporation, provided her colleagues with an update of the organization’s recent activities. The EDIC expects to close on the sale of a 2.6-acre parcel of land on Industrial Drive later this week, providing it with the working capital needed to hire a part-time executive director, and embark upon additional economic development initiatives.
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The board unanimously approved a request by the Barnstable County Department of Human Services to have Mashpee participate in a grant application to form a regional opioid prevention collaborative.
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The Mashpee Wampanoag Rod & Gun Club received unanimous approval for one-day liquor licenses on September 13 and October 18.
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A review of articles in the draft Fall Town Meeting warrant has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 10, at 6:30 PM at Mashpee Town Hall. At that time, the board will also vote on whether to endorse or not endorse each article.
The review was scheduled for this week’s meeting, but board of selectmen chairman Wayne E. Taylor was unable to be in attendance.