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RTM OKs funds for marina repairs, new paddle tennis court

Published 8:58 am, Wednesday, September 3, 2014
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Funding for marina repairs and a new paddle tennis court won unanimous approval Tuesday from the Representative Town Meeting.

The proposals were outlined for the legislative body by Stuart McCarthy, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

The Ned Dimes Marina at Compo Beach, McCarthy said, has long been in need of repairs along its southern side, where the embankment has been eroded, filling in that section of the marina and potentially putting the roadway itself in jeopardy.

"This is to stabilize the south shore of the Ned Dimes Marina," he said of the $800,000 appropriation. "The current situation is that the shore is unstable (and) the material is falling into the basin."

Along with reinforcing the embankment, McCarthy said, that area of the marina will need to be dredged.

"If you have a boat on the south side of the basin, you really can't get in and out of the marina at low tide," he said.

While with its unanimous approval the Parks and Recreation Commission originally proposed a 50-50 split between the town and boater fees to fund the project, the Board of Finance revised the equation.

"The proposal that was approved by the Board of Finance is for 70 percent of the debt service to be funded through the boater fees," McCarthy said.

"We are satisfied with that," he said, noting that would amount to approximately $56,000 annually.

"It's great to see you're improving the marina," said Paul Liebowitz, District 6. "That dredging is much needed."

While McCarthy said that marina upgrade is not part of the larger Compo Beach Improvement Plan, since it's been in the works a much longer time, designers will be consulted with regard to the fencing that will be installed to comply with the final design of the overall improvement plan.

He said the project is targeted for a start by the end of October, but it may take longer to get fully underway.

The RTM also approved $150,000 for parks and rec to build a second paddle tennis court at Longshore Club Park.

"The paddle tennis court at Longshore is over 30 years old," he said. "It is a well-utilized facility in desperate need of replacement."

"I play tennis three times a week," said Arthur Ashman, District 7. "I've never seen anyone on the paddle tennis court."

McCarthy explained that, unlike tennis, paddle tennis is a winter sport, with the court heated by a propane tank. "It is really one of the few vigorous outdoor activities," he said, noting that he himself plays.

The addition of a second court, he said, would expand playing opportunities, with group and round-robin tournaments possible.

"Paddle tennis is not only an athletic event, but a social event as well," he said. "It is an activity that serves all ages, male and female."