The General Services Administration has received three letters of interest for ownership of the Gay Head Light, as planning and fundraising efforts get under way to move the lighthouse which is threatened by severe erosion. The lighthouse has been declared surplus property and the town of Aquinnah hopes to take ownership of the historic tower.
One of the letters of interest is from the town and was sent earlier this month.
A spokesman for the GSA said this week that the identities of all interested parties will be disclosed on Oct. 1 at the end of the 60-day application period. The GSA oversees the transfer of all federal government property.
A public meeting with the GSA has been scheduled for Oct. 10 in Aquinnah.
Meanwhile, three sites are under consideration for relocating the lighthouse. At a meeting this week the Aquinnah selectmen said a request for proposals for a geotechnical study at the cliffs will be advertised next week. The study is needed to determine the most suitable location for the lighthouse.
Later the same night at the annual summer taxpayers meeting, Lenny Butler, chairman of the lighthouse building committee, told summer residents that recent studies showed the cliff had lost two to three feet in certain areas in the last year but only one foot in the area closest to the lighthouse. The lighthouse now stands 46 feet from the edge, Mr. Butler said. It was previously estimated to be 47 feet from the cliff.
The cliff loses about two feet per year, and at that rate, the light will need to be moved by 2015, Mr. Butler said. The project to move the light will cost about $3 million. A Save the Gay Head Lighthouse committee has launched a campaign to raise the needed funds.
“With everyone’s support, we’ll keep the light shining,” said Mr. Butler.