Westport cops getting a new boat

WESTPORT — Westport cops are getting a new ride, thanks to a $33,850 appropriation to replace a 16-foot Boston Whaler boat used by the Police Marine Division.

The Representative Town Meeting unanimously approved the amount at its Tuesday meeting.

As a result extended use, the 20-year-old boat has faced some structural and mechanical issues, Deputy Chief Samuel Arciola said.

“Due to these issues we began looking at a replacement for the boat in 2018,” he said.

The boat is used by the police department’s marine division primarily for the shellfish program, but is also utilized for major emergencies. Arciola said the money being used to purchase the new boat comes from the purchase of clamming permits, which is deposited in the Shellfish Commission’s program account.

“The appropriation will not impact town funds,” he said.

Arciola said the commission requested any proceeds from the sale of the existing boat are returned to shellfish program account.

RTM member Jimmy Izzo said the new boat would help protect the public.

“The bottom line is this is not a cost to the taxpayer. This is going to be paid for by our clamming permits,” Izzo said.

He added that funds in the shellfish program account must be used on shellfish protection, and this helped to do it.

“It’s a win-win for all of us,” Izzo said.

In other business, the RTM approved designating 15 Hyatt Lane and 39 Cross Highway as historic properties.

The RTM also unanimously approved a special appropriation of $267,658 for mold remediation, reconstruction and other services for Coleytown Middle School up to Dec. 31, 2018.

The group will discuss adopting an ordinance prohibiting all marijuana businesses — except medical marijuana dispensaries — in Westport at its meeting on July 16. An ordinance to prohibit the sale or purchase of tobacco-related products to anyone under 21 will also be reviewed.