LWV OBSERVER REPORT: Harbors and Waters Board, June 5

Marblehead League of Women Voters Observer Corps
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Observer Corps Reports are provided by volunteers from the Marblehead League of Women Voters. To learn more about the League and its activities, see my.lwv.org/massachusetts/marblehead.

BOARD: Harbors and Waters Board

DATE: June 5 (in person, at the harbormaster’s office)

LWVM OBSERVER: Kathy Breslin

COMMISSIONERS IN ATTENDANCE: Gary Gregory, John Doub, Jay Michaud, Ken Breen, Rick Cuzner (alternate) and Peter Dragonas (alternate)


The meeting was called to order and April minutes approved.

Public request for Brown’s Island name change

Eugene E. Record made a proposal to change the official name of Brown’s Island to Crowninshield Island. The Crowninshield family donated the island to the Trustees of Reservations in 1955. The name Crowninshield Island is present on zoning maps already but not on NOAA nautical charts. 

Record has support from the Trustees of Reservations, the Peabody Essex Museum and the Marblehead Museum and has filled out the paperwork necessary and requested support from the board.

The board voted unanimously in favor of supporting the name change.

Public request regarding State Street bathrooms

Phillip Blaisdell asked about the status of the bathrooms being open year-round. He states that the town could possibly lease the bathroom to an outside agency, such as Sustainable Marblehead, a non-profit group, to install a heat pump.

Blaisdell has received individual financial offers to help with replacing the heating system and has volunteers ready to help with regular cleaning and supplying toilet tissue.

Harbormaster Mark Souza reported that the bathroom is not open due to vandalism. Someone recently breached the lock on the female bathroom entrance door; two pipes burst, the flushometer is broken, and the main breaker is corroded. He is waiting for the locksmith who installed the lock to come from Maine. Puleo Plumbing has been helping with the plumbing.

The door locks are on a timer, but the squid fishermen have put blocks in the door to prevent them from locking.

Souza is waiting for a meeting to be scheduled with the town administrator, the Select Board and Rec and Parks. They will need to know the cost of heating and maintenance and who will take responsibility for the management of the bathroom. It was suggested to install a video camera to discourage vandalism, but Mr. Souza mentioned that a video camera on public property is required to be monitored continuously.

Harbormaster report

All docks were in place early. Village Street docks were slower in getting them lined up properly.

The harbormaster finished the application for a $380,000 grant, which will cover 75% of the cost of the new security boat.

The recent heavy weather alert sent by the new software system worked well, and Souza received 1,100 emails from people thanking him.

Michaud mentioned that on May 15 lobstermen were allowed to put traps in the water; several thousand traps went in smoothly thanks to Souza.

The Select Board approved outdoor dining adjacent to the Landing Restaurant. It was mentioned that the Select Board should have come before the Harbors and Waters Board first, as the fishing pier is under the jurisdiction of the Harbors and Waters Board.

Souza mentioned that the fishermen are concerned about safety, and the people who paid for the memorial benches have also complained.

Reappointments by the Select Board

Gregory asked who did not want to be reappointed. No one present responded. It was mentioned that one member and one alternate don’t often attend board meetings.

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