Council updated on town marina
CHESTERTOWN — Progress has been slow but is being made on the overhaul of the Chestertown-owned marina, Town Manager Bill Ingersoll and Mayor Chris Cerino reported Tuesday at the council meeting.
The ramp redesign by the engineering firm of Andrews Miller & Associates has been approved by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the change order has been approved by contractor Kingfisher Marine Construction, Ingersoll said.
The materials have been ordered and the goal is to finish before Downrigging Weekend at the end of October.
The plan calls for a 60-foot concrete ramp with a 6-foot floating pedestrian ramp that goes all the way down it.
The interpretive center is under redesign after both bidders came in over budget. A costly second floor has been eliminated from the original specs, but “in some ways I think it looks even better,” Ingersoll said.
He said if the council is interested, he would bring the design to the Sept. 18 meeting.
“A lot of work has gone into it. I don’t think we’re suffering any real losses for what we’ve tried to do 90 percent of the time at the marina,” Ingersoll said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is poised to give the town a loan and local banks are assisting with interim financing, he said.
Ingersoll said the town also is getting ready for “a pretty big winter” as far as projects go. “We’ve turned the corner on the bulkheading. We’ll probably be removing piers and building new ones,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot to bid out. It’s all pretty much ready,” he said.
Financing is ready, he said.
The town is moving forward with the ramp, even though it is a little more costly than anticipated. It will tie in the important part of the marina so work can be done in other areas.
The interpretive center groundbreaking also will be a milestone.
“You have to see all the work to see why it’s taken this amount of time,” Ingersoll said.
“The original plan for the ramp was sketchy at best. It really looked like a ramp but it wasn’t buildable in that set of plans. If you’ve ever watched them drive pilings down there and they take a 50-foot piling and it goes down 30 feet, you know why it’s not that easy to build a ramp.”
He apologized for the delays.
“It just takes a really really, really long time when you are relying on engineers from several engineering companies and permitting agencies,” Cerino said. “Hopefully by the end of this coming spring, I don’t think we’re going to be done, but we’re going to have put a very big dent in the infrastructure needs that have needed to be addressed for 20 years.” Fundraising will continue. It may take a couple of years before the project is completed, but Cerino said he is hopeful that within the next six months “people will be able to walk down there and physically see a difference.”
Up to this point, most of the work has been done in town hall “to kinda get ready,” Cerino said.