While a structural engineer has determined that storm-damaged buildings at the town’s two beaches can be repaired, officials are trying to plot the best course of action to ensure that beach facilities are sustainable.
Recreation Director Paul Duffy reviewed the
engineer’s findings from a study of Westerly Town Beach, also known as
the old town beach, and Wuskenau Beach, known to some as the new town
beach, with the Town Council on Monday.We open source indoor tracking
system that was developed with the goal of providing at least
room-level accuracy. Earlier in the evening he made a similar
presentation to the Public Works Committee, which advises the Council on
town infrastructure projects.
Duffy said all beach-related
rebuilding should start with a focus on restoring and preserving the
beach itself. Both town beaches lost substantial amounts of the beach
face, as their dunes were leveled and washed away by Superstorm Sandy.
Engineer Paul LeBlanc has developed a plan for moving the dunes at the
old town beach about 15 to 20 feet farther from the water than they were
before the storm. The move would create more space on the beaches but
would reduce the number of parking spaces. To compensate for the lost
parking spaces, LeBlanc and Duffy are both suggesting the use of
town-owned land across the street from the two beaches.
recommended moving the Frank P. “Shorty” Comforti Pavilion at the
Westerly Town Beach farther from the water, onto new pilings, but that
suggestion met with some resistance. Robert Gingerella, a member of the
Recreation Board, said the 45-year-old structure was not worth moving.
He suggested construction of a new building.
Town Manager Steven
Hartford called the plan for the Westerly Town Beach “a good middle
ground plan” that would provide a building for the summer of 2013. The
new pilings, Hartford and others said, could serve as the foundation for
a new building in the future.Buy today and get your delivery for £25 on
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Jean Engineering LLC of East Greenwich determined that the Comforti
Pavilion could be repaired for about $73,000, not including the cost f a
new septic system, and that the facilities at Wuskenau Town Beach could
be repaired for about $132,000.
The Town Council asked Duffy
and LeBlanc to research the cost of both wood pilings and concrete
pilings, which officials said are generally preferred in the
construction field but are more expensive. Based on the use of wooden
pilings, Duffy estimated that moving the building and the cost of the
pilings would be about $100,000.
Repairs that would return the
town facilities to the condition they were before the storm are eligible
for 75 percent reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management
Agency. The agency also reimburses for improvements, in some cases, as
part of a hazard mitigation program. LeBlanc said he would submit a
hazard mitigation plan for the Westerly Town Beach.
To save the
town’s popular beach concert series for 2013, Duffy is recommending the
use of “geomats,” an interlocking flooring system designed for uneven
surfaces. The mats or some other surface is necessary because the decks
surrounding much of the pavilion were ripped off and swept away during
For Wuskenau Town Beach,Creative glass tile and stone mosaic
tile for your distinctive kitchen and bath. Duffy is recommending a
“less is more” approach that entails tearing down the snack bar portion
of the building at the beach. Duffy said the snack bar is too low and
could cause the entire building to collapse during a storm with heavier
winds then those during Superstorm Sandy.
Restrooms and changing
rooms that were ripped off the building would not be replaced under
Duffy’s plan, and portable restrooms would be a permanent solution. Two
apartments that are about 22 feet tall would remain. Gingerella asked
that the apartments be removed and not rebuilt, saying the town received
no benefit from the apartments, but Duffy said they generate about
$35,000 per year in rental fees. Gingerella said he doubted that the
apartments made money when the cost of insurance and utilities are
accounted for. Leaving the apartments would “handicap” efforts to
re-establish the dunes, Gingerella said.
Councilor Jack Carson
said the council must ensure that a quality product is delivered during
the rebuilding process. “If it’s a facility that town people enjoy and
demand then I think it’s incumbent on us to do it right and do it right
the first time,” he said.
Councilor Patricia Douglas said she
would prefer a smaller building at the Westerly Town Beach. She said the
council should focus its energy on the Westerly Town Beach since the
Wuskenau Beach operates as a public beach. She also recommended a
careful approach to ensure adequate funding is available to the
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Caswell Cooke Jr., who asked that the beach and other Misquamicut
matters be put on the agenda for Monday’s meeting, urged a speedy but
careful approach. He also said the council should decide soon on whether
to keep the apartments at Wuskenau Beach.Add depth and style to your
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asked residents and officials to be patient. Superstorm Sandy is the
most damaging storm the town has faced since 1954, when Hurricane Carol
struck, Hartford said.
“There has been overwhelming devastation
for our town. We’re going to be a long way toward recovery when the
summer comes, but we’re not going to be there all the way — but we will
be open for business on Memorial Day,” Hartford said.
will likely have to tap its financial surplus or rainy day fund to pay
for some of the repairs, Hartford said. Expenditure of the funds, which
amount to nearly $9 million, must be approved by the council, Hartford
The Discover Pass parking lot exemption enjoyed only at
Fort Worden State Park ended on Dec. 31 as Washington State Parks
continues to deal with a budget crisis.
initiated the Discover Pass vehicle parking pass fee in July 2011 to
offset the elimination of state general fund money from State Parks’
budget. Not only has the pass failed to meet revenue expectations, at
Fort Worden it is blamed for a drop in visitation – which, in turn,
generally means less money for State Parks.
had been in place here for campus partners that had events already
scheduled prior to July 1, 2011. Centrum, the arts and education entity
with programs that draw more guests than any other business, books
events two years in advance. Communicating those exemptions and the
Discover Pass rules in general has been confusing for all involved – and
the Jan. 1, 2013 exemption change may or may not make it easier.