Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
The Chilmark selectmen are ready to move on to phase three of our plan for rebuilding the docks in Menemsha harbor. This part of our plan calls for rebuilding the fuel dock, the transient yacht dock and other small repairs to our harbor.
The large wooden dock in front of the commercial area, in front of the gas station, and in front of the parking lot will not be changed. This long wooden dock that is open to the public and is so characteristic of Menemsha harbor will remain as a heavy wooden pier. We will rebuild as a fixed wooden pier the 40-foot dock that serves as our fuel dock. We also will rebuild the yacht dock (transient dock) that runs parallel to the jetty and stretches out from the parking lot. For this yacht dock we are proposing a fixed wooden pier for the first 60 feet and then a floating dock for the remaining 180 feet. We will surface the floating docks with wood planking to keep the traditional wooden look of Menemsha harbor. This plan will provide a new handicap access ramp that will make our entire harbor-front easily accessible for wheelchairs.
We feel that the use of more floating docks in Menemsha is much more user friendly for our yachting public and will be a good thing for the harbor in the long run. The floating dock will allow us to install water and electric lines inside and provide better utility service to our boaters.
A very large portion of our harbor frontage will still be wooden fixed pier and we have kept the first 60 feet of our yacht dock as a traditional wooden pier. And all of our docks on the east side of our harbor (the side open to all of the public) will be wooden. Just that area serving the visiting yachts will be floating and rise and fall with our ever increasing high tides.
This plan for phase three of our rebuilding plan has been carefully reviewed by the Chilmark harbor advisory committee, by the Chilmark historical commission, the Chilmark harbor master and by the board of selectmen. We have held many open meetings discussing the plan and we have surveyed visiting boaters who use the Menemsha docks.
The Chilmark selectmen’s plan for Menemsha docks is to be presented for approval at our town meeting on Monday, August 6, at 8 p.m. We think it is a well thought out, carefully planned proposal. Please come to the special town meeting next Monday and vote.
The writer is chairman of the Chilmark selectmen; this letter was also signed by selectmen Warren Doty and William Rossi.