Coun­cil up­dated on town marina

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By TR­ISH MCGEE pm­cgee@thekent­coun­

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.

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