Town Committee on Squibnocket
October 14, 2014
Chilmark Town Hall Selectmen’s Meeting Room
Present: Jim Malkin (Chair), Dan Greenbaum, Steve Flanders, Billy Meegan, Jane Slater, Janet Weidner, Ron Rappaport (ex officio)
Also Present: Tony Orphanos, Charles Parker, Richard Regen, Susan Regen, Alex Elvin, Willits Sawyer, Rosalie Hornblower, Paul Hornblower, Chris Murphy, Emily Bramhall, David Damroth, others unspecified
FoS LLC Presentation: Tony Orphanos and Charles Parker presented alternative proposals for parking area on the Jeffers/Orphanos and Weldon lots, at an elevation of 15-16’. Mr. Parker said that the plan has been engineered and demonstrated to be suitable, capable of accommodating a minimum of 40 cars, which is the capacity of the current lot, with a vegetative border surrounding it. The proposed location for the parking lot would not be a “pass-through” for SFHA residents and emergency/service vehicles, which would turn off prior to the parking lot. Leases for the properties could be negotiated with the owners if the Town wishes to pursue this option.
Charles Parker also presented an alternate location for road access to the Squibnocket Farms area under which most of the road would be at a greater distance from the proposed dune, which would require less road repair and maintenance, as more than half of the length of the proposed alternate road would not be affected by dune migration for 50 years. It would also require a smaller dune than the road previously presented to the Squibnocket Committee. This alternate road location was discussed in meetings between the technical teams of the SFHA and the FoS LLC. According to Charles Parker, the SFHA technical team expressed interest in this option.
Questions were asked about the filling of wetlands, accretion in the Pond, boat access and handicapped access/drop-off under the alternate proposal. Chris Murphy noted that it might be possible to combine the favorable elements of the new alternate route with the originally-proposed route which would require less wetland filling.
FoS LLC Responses to Questions: The Committee will review responses to its questions submitted by the FoS LLC and communicate any needed clarification or follow-up questions prior to the next meeting.
Evaluation Matrix: Jim Malkin noted that Janet Weidner and Dan Greenbaum have developed an extensive matrix that will allow the Committee to undertake a comparative evaluation of a broad range proposals and suggestions made to the Committee so far. The matrix is somewhat unwieldy, and Jim Malkin suggested that the Committee can organize the matrix according to the three main parts of its charge: Parking area, Beach, and SFHA access, and use the matrix to evaluate pros and cons of the elements of a given proposal.
Experts to Assist the Committee: Jim Malkin reported that the Board of Selectmen has agreed to fund hiring experts to assist the Committee to carry out its mandate. He stressed that there should be only one point person for a given expert to communicate with: Alison Burger has agreed to be the Committee’s contact person for the environmental expert, while Jane Slater will be the point person for the Coastal Engineer. As for getting assistance with estimating costs of different proposals or components, Jim Malkin noted that it is difficult to structure a scope of work when so much remains unknown. Instead of engaging someone for a project which cannot be defined at this time, he suggested that he would like to ask John Keene to work with the Committee on an
hourly basis to answer specific cost evaluation questions as they come up. Billy Meegan asked whether this might present a conflict or barrier to John Keene’s involvement in any future construction around the Squibnocket project; Ron Rappaport agreed to look into this question.
Mass Coastal Zone Management Grant: The Committee reviewed a letter from Tim Carroll regarding an inquiry with the CZM group to determine whether it is possible to roll over the grant. The CZM replied that it is possible to roll over the grant, but they cannot say with certainty that money will be available in the coming fiscal year. Jim Malkin noted that the deadline for resubmission of the application was brutally tight – the Town heard last Wednesday that the application was due last Friday – and the deadline was met through extraordinary effort.
Jim Malkin reported that four elements of the original grant proposal which are elements of an “orderly retreat” strategy could be reimbursed if spent in this fiscal year, and the submission sent to the State foresees spending $20,000 on hiring experts to support such a strategy. Those elements include 1) moving the parking lot further back from the eroding coastline, 2) moving the dinghy access back, 3) removal of the existing revetment, and 4) the recovery of recreational beach area resulting from revetment removal.
Progress Report to Town Meeting: Jim Malkin provided a draft report to Town Meeting to Committee members for review. The Committee unanimously approved a motion accepting the draft progress report.
The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Tuesday, October 21 at 8am.
Minutes of October 7, 2014 were approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 18:17.
Approved as amended on October 21, 2014