At Long Last Agreement Nears On New Sandwich Marina Office

High tide flooded the Sandwich Harbormaster's office in January 2014.
JEFFREY URQUHART/ENTERPRISE - High tide flooded the Sandwich Harbormaster's office in January 2014.

In a possible conclusion to a quest that has lasted 25 years, the Town of Sandwich is close to reaching an agreement to move its marina office operation off a dock to a site on dry land.

Town manager George H. Dunham planned to review the latest developments concerning the marina office last night, June 12,  with the board of selectmen.

On Tuesday, June 10, Mr. Dunham said that a written conceptual agreement is close with the US Army Corps of Engineers, which leases the marina property to the town.

The town manager said he anticipates receiving the conceptual agreement in the next two weeks, which will allow town officials to meet with the selectmen this summer for a detailed update.

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Mr. Dunham said that the town can complete any required amendments to its existing lease while final designs and bid documents are being prepared for the new marina office building.

If all goes well, the town manager said, the new marina office building should be completed in early 2016.

“We’re very close to putting this issue/problem to bed,” Mr. Dunham stated. “[What] we’re proposing will greatly improve the level of service provided to the public and marina patrons, and will substantially enhance the appearance of this important part of Sandwich.”

But Mr. Dunham said that nothing actually will happen until the town gets the written conceptual support of the Army Corps and the approval of the selectmen to proceed.

The town and the Army Corps literally have taken 25 years to try to find a solution to the issue of the marina office.

The existing office, which is the headquarters of the town harbormaster, is a cramped affair that sits on a pier jutting out over the waters of the marina. Mr. Dunham describes the structure’s condition as “poor.”

The office building has no running water and lacks bathrooms. The only bathrooms at the marina are in the small building next to the boat ramp, about halfway around the marina from the office.

Storm surges and an occasional extreme high tide flood the building. Three to four times a year, when the possibility of a flood looms, workers must move office equipment up off the floor.

Sandwich voters long have backed the proposal to build an improved office on dry land at the marina. But town officials for just as long have run into delays and reverses from Army Corps personnel, who have said they need to exercise due diligence.

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