TOWN COUNCIL
  JAMESTOWN, RHODE ISLAND

  PROPOSED EAST FERRY PIER EXTENSION

  JULY 8, 1997

A work session of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order by
Council President Craig A. Amerigian at the Jamestown Community Center, 41
Conanicus Avenue at 7:34 PM. The following members were present:
  David E. Dolce, Vice President
  William H. Murphy
  Fred F. Pease
  Ellicott Wright

Also present were:
  Frances H. Shocket, Town Administrator
  Theresa C. Donovan, CMC, Town Clerk
  Steven J. Goslee, Public Works Director
  Quentin Anthony, Esq., Town Solicitor

As well as the following committee members:
  Donald T. Armington, Harbor Management Commission Chair
  David Willis, Esq., Harbor Management Commission
  David Pritchard, Harbor Management Commission
  Sandra Lareau, Harbor Management Commission
  Betty Hubbard, Planning Commission Chair
  David Butterfield, Planning Commission

And representatives of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation
(Marjorie Keefe and Carl Passarelli).

Council President Amerigian (addressing an audience of approximately 125
people): The purpose of the work session is to review conditions at East
Ferry and determine if an extension to the steel pier will be beneficial
to the community; because a grant would be involved, the Town must be made
aware of the responsibilities, obligations and restrictions imposed by the
RI Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA), the responsibilities, obligations and restrictions on the Town in
accepting the grant, and the time limitation within which to make a
decision before the grant money is allocated elsewhere; there will be six
participants who will give five minutes presentations each: Messrs.
     Armington, Willis and Pritchard of the Harbor Management Commission
(HMC), Mr. Butterfield as the Planning Commission liaison to the HMC,
Laszlo Siegmund of Siegmund & Associates, Inc. and a representative of
RIDOT.

Mr. Armington: (agendas and question forms distributed) Based on a survey
conducted by Maguire Group, a pier escrow account was established in 1990
for the purposes of maintaining existing town owned waterfront structures,
including reconstruction of the East Ferry steel pier and Veterans
Memorial Square south bulkhead; since 1995, $320,000 of marine development
funds have either been spent or committed toward the reconstruction;
$216,000 of that amount can be used as a soft mach for the $864,000 FHWA
grant; the reconstruction project has depleted the pier escrow account; an
estimated $630,000 will be required to reconstruct piers at East and West
Harbors during the next ten years; projected escrow revenues will be
$40,000 annually, which will be insufficient to meet those needs; the FHWA
grant for pier extension would provide the funds needed for completion of
the steel pier; this proposal will extend the use of the waterfront for
all users.

Mr. Willis: (speaking as the recreational boating community representative
on HMC) The proposed use is supported by the Comprehensive Community Plan;
one of the goals of the harbor management ordinance was to maximize use
and minimize conflicts; the Harbor Plan established goals and policies to
insure the safety of the public using the East Harbor pier; the proposed
extension enables us to accomplish those goals by being able to split up
user groups; we cannot legally deny access to competing groups, but could
denote specific areas  for rod and reel fishermen, waste system pump out
stations, etc., utilizing the space more effectively; larger boats would
be moved to the heavy duty pier, which would also provide better
protection from storms.

Mr. Pritchard: (speaking as the commercial fishing industry representative
on HMC) In addition to providing access to resources, it provides for
small businesses (commercial fishermen) that have little impact on the
town; the comprehensive plan addresses the priority we have given to
maintaining a commercial fleet in Jamestown; in time, some commercial
boats may be displaced from Fort Wetherill and, at present, we have no
place to relocate them to; the wooden pier is currently congested with
equipment (nets, pots and bait barrels); there is difficult loading access
now; safety issues are involved; extension of the steel pier would help
the entire operation; currently, the boats have to move if a storm
approaches with easterly or southeasterly winds; that would also be
improved; the life of the wooden pier would be extended if the heavier
boats were moved; it would also separate commercial and recreational
fishermen when demand is greatest.

Mr. Butterfield: The proposal allows greater public use of the waterfront,
removes conflicts between user groups, and would result in increased
service demands (retail businesses would prosper); of the parking
situation, long term seems to be the greatest concern; demand is currently
for 35 long term spaces; there were 22 spaces lost on the west side of
Walcott Avenue by recent Town Council action; assuming those were long
term users, that increases the need to 57; we have several recommendations
for increased enforcement and leasing or acquiring property to add to the
parking options; the Planning Commission is discussing possible zoning
changes if ferry use is expanded, which would include parking
requirements; RIDOT is discussing a passenger shuttle (no vehicles) with
49 passengers or less; that would need 22 spaces; the existing ordinance
suggests a 10 space requirement, but we recommend 17 spaces for a 49
passenger ferry; the Planning Commission is evaluating satellite parking
spaces; a 50+ passenger ferry would not be acceptable to the town under
these conditions; there would be no fueling or layover allowed; it would
be strictly touch and go; this is currently in committee with ongoing
discussions.

Mr. Siegmund: I represent the engineering firm working with the HMC for
the last year, performing the inspection and evaluation of the existing
pier, developing options regarding extension and repair and preparation of
bid specifications; the project was initiated under the intermodal
transportation project; the proposed extension could accommodate fishing
boats up to 100 tons, and waves up to 6 feet in height, as well as
berthing of a passenger ferry; the crane platform was designed into the
project; unhindered public access and elimination of use conflicts were
taken into consideration; life expectancy and maintenance considerations
were very important since the Town would be responsible for it;
alternatives and available funding were considered, with scenario "E"
being favored (several proposals mounted on display boards for
inspection).

Ms. Keefe: (from the RIDOT Division of Intermodal Planning): RIDOT is the
conduit for the grant money; we would oversee disbursement with
administrative responsibilities; the Town is expected to take the lead and
we monitor the progress; the Town would ensure a reasonable design, in
keeping with the 2010 Water Transportation Plan;  we applied for this
grant to ensure in the future that there would be an infrastructure
created in harmony with our vision for water transportation; larger
ferries are not acceptable; we are looking at 49 passengers or less; they
would be high speed, low wake vessels; we are looking at development of an
infrastructure for the future of RI, not to create something that must be
used in the present; the Newport marine facilities project is also being
overseen; a draft environmental impact statement has been distributed; we
are not building one huge terminal, but need a series of small dockages
for water taxis and small ferries; there will be some in Newport, but not
a huge terminal; RIDOT and the RI Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) are
working jointly on small, high speed vessels; it would probably go from
Newport to Providence.

At 8:30 PM, Council President Amerigian recessed the work session to allow
submission of written questions and inspection of the graphic proposals.
     The work session reconvened at 8:38 PM.
     Copies of the twenty two (22) submitted questions are attached
hereto. Following are the panelists' responses to the various questions:

Ms. Keefe: I have not seen any plans for ferries from or to Jamestown;
there may be a need for one high speed ferry in the future with stops at
Warwick and Narragansett, depending upon future demands.
     Council President Amerigian: This will be an ongoing subject of
discussion at future Council meetings; the possibility of a referendum
would be discussed at that time.
     Ms. Keefe: We are trying to restore the historical nature of RI;
Jamestown was a viable ferry stop; it would be a Jamestown decision as to
whether or not you wish to have legislation to restrict certain crafts or
size of crafts; RIDOT has no opposition to that.
     Mr. Armington: Certain issues, such as zoning, need to be addressed
before a referendum.
     Ms. Keefe: Since this is FHWA money, RIDOT will be responsible to
ensure that it is used to create a structurally sound pier.
     Mr. Butterfield: The ferry operator would be responsible for
providing parking.
     Mr. Armington: The HMC receives $120,000 in revenues annually, and
operates on a balanced budget.
      Ms. Keefe: The RI Water Transportation Plan defines goals to the
year 2020; there should be a market analysis done before any
implementation anywhere in Rhode Island.

 Mr. Siegmund: The proposed wave screen is a barrier placed on pilings to
diminish the size of waves, mounted on the "T" end of the proposed pier
extension; it would be 100 feet long, made out of wood and attached to a
fendering system designed to diminish waves by 50%.
     Mr. Armington: There is currently a lease agreement established
between the Town and a commercial marina operation; approval of this
project would be setting into motion new criteria; discussion of the
monetary value of an extended wave screen now would be premature; its
placement would commence a new negotiation between the lease holder and
the Town; the obligation of the taxpayer is not an issue as long as we are
protecting the taxpayer, based upon land based regulations, ie. zoning;
the marine development fund is solely financed by boaters through mooring
permits and lease fees; no taxpayer money has been spent, nor will it be.
     Ms. Keefe: The Water Transportation Plan is a plan for the future; we
hope people will eventually consider modes of transportation other than
their  vehicles; RIDOT will serve as a conduit for the money; only 8 out
of 40 states received money and RI received the most; the ferry boat
discretionary money is gone; this is a different fund.

 Mr. Siegmund: The sentiment during discussions at various meetings was
that it would be best to move the crane operations off the pier; level of
crane activity in the spring almost precludes public use; moving it off
the pier would leave the entire 20' width for public use.
     Council President Amerigian: Parking will not be in place before the
project proceeds because the demands are unknown at this point.
     Mr. Butterfield: Any parking associated with the ferry would be the
responsibility of the ferry operator; the Planning Commission is working
now to ensure that adequate zoning regulations are in place.
     Ms. Keefe: RIDOT encourages the Town to enact any legislation it
needs; there is no policy of a state or federal government take over of a
funded project; we will not condemn property for parking for a ferry
business; we are hoping for an intermodal base that will utilize busses,
railways and bicycles, which could tie into ferries; we do not see it in
the near future.
     Mr. Armington: Catastrophes such as Hurricane Bob, car carriers
crashing into piers, etc. are not budgeted; there will be a marine
development fund shortfall if we do not take advantage of these funds; if
we do not take advantage, some of these facilities will be unsafe or will
fall into the sea; the marina operation is on a lease basis; to add a
private structure, such as crane platform, does not make sense; we should
not attach a private structure to a public pier. 

Ms. Keefe: An environmental determination was done and is acceptable to
FHWA.
     Mr. Armington: The grant was written specifically for East Ferry
facilities; expansion of Fort Wetherill is not being considered; any
passenger ticketing will take place upon the ferry, so there will be no
need for a terminal; the Town could consider additional finger piers off
the extension, but not right now; the existing piers could not accommodate
a ferry.
     Mr. Butterfield: The existing ferry is grandfathered; there are no
existing zoning regulations covering it now; that is why we are reviewing
it; expansion of the current use could come under review.

Having responded to all of the written questions, Council President
Amerigian stated that audience members could address the panel, with
remarks limited to three minutes.

Louis Sauzedde: I am opposed; increased public use could be dangerous; the
wave screen would not protect against that size boat; federal, state and
local money is my money; parking is not resolved; ferries were necessary
before the bridges, but no longer; mixed use is unsafe; I am not
interested in maintaining the existing pier; it is of no use to me.

Deborah L. Furtado: People in this town want a public referendum.

Spencer W. Potter: I oppose the expansion of our facilities.

Paul J. Levesque: Federal law dictates the use of the pier; an example of
the ramifications of public use is the trashing of the old Jamestown
bridge; enabling legislation says the grant must be used for
transportation activity; fishing boats are not in that legislation;
parking has not been addressed, nor has water use; the HMC speaks of a
projected deficit; they should raise user fees today to address that.

Andrew G. Weicker: The Jamestown Bridge ended up being connected to a
super highway; Blackstone Valley got 2 boats from the ISTEA (Intermodal
Surface Transportation Efficiency Act) money but the State has taken them
back; the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) gives license to ferries;
where does the control start and stop? Ms. Keefe: The dock would be owned
and maintained by the Town; RIDOT only hopes that it would be used in the
future for intermodal transportation; the private sector would have to get
the PUC licenses; the State has been more involved in Galilee, but that is
a port and unlike Jamestown; the Blackstone Valley ferries were for
Pawtucket passengers going to Providence; that may be going out to private
bid.

William A. Pemantel: You haven't gotten the boat yet; restore the Veterans
Memorial to the way it was and reenforce the steel pier.

Elwood E. Leonard III: Will a parking plan be in place? Mr. Butterfield:
No. Mr. Leonard: Has the State encumbered federal funds? If the Town
rejects the money, what happens to it? Ms. Keefe: If not used, the money
will be returned to the federal government to be given to other groups
awarded less money, probably California.

Mr. Potter: Will RIDOT relinquish all control and is the money really
without strings? Ms. Keefe: Yes, and yes; RIDOT only wants the best
possible pier to be built for the money available.

Alexander Barclay Wharton: I appreciate that it would contribute to the
well being of the businesses; however, tourist growth is not necessarily
regarded as favorable; it does not address low impact use; we should try
to generate transient boating activity that does not need parking; I do
not see that with this project; can RIDOT say the federal government will
have no control over the pier? RIDOT is making assurances, but does not
have a history of facilitating ferries, so their involvement is an
unknown; parking problems need to be addressed  for all concerned.

Richard J. Bates: The whole pleasure boat group will be adversely affected
by a ferry boat running on a schedule.

William L. Sprague: We who run the ferry boat are professional mariners;
the problem is the amateurs.

Donald A. Richardson: It has been mentioned at numerous meetings that the
current ferry operates sometimes with no passengers; I cannot see how a
bigger ferry will be more successful; do we want greater use of East
Ferry? I do not think so; do we have to build more docks because people
request it?  It means more congestion; the extension will not be
beneficial for the community; turn it down.

Thomas E. Huntington: With too many people coming ashore every day, my
property value in Martha's Vineyard went down; you are solving today's
problem by creating tomorrow's problem.

John W. Civic: Is the federal grant equal to the Town's contribution? Ms.
Keefe: Yes; there is a 10% administrative fee; by law, the money goes to
Jamestown other than the administrative fee.

Richard H. Hutchinson: Does the grant stipulate that it is for
transportation only? Ms. Keefe: It is the product of a  transportation
Act; we are hoping it will be used for transportation in the future; it
does not say it may only be used for transportation.
     Mr. Levesque: I was told it must be used for transportation activity.

Pia C. Peterson: Will there be a deed? Ms. Keefe: There will be a
memorandum of agreement signed by all parties.

Emeline C. Cabral: There is currently a sign at East Ferry designating
parking for ferry boat customers only; is that legitimate? Council
consensus: Will look at it.

Mr. Potter: If built as envisioned, are we free of federal constraints?
Ms. Keefe: The FHWA is a merely a conduit for the funds, as are we.

Ms. Furtado: There have been conflicting statements since the last
workshop; be consistent.

Mr. Wharton: Can you speak on behalf of the  federal government? Ms.
Keefe: I am not a federal employee, but I represent them; the only way
RIDOT or FHA would intervene would be if the Town went bankrupt or let the
pier fall into the water, which would be something very uncharacteristic;
this is unusual money; it is basically a gift to local communities that
have a view of the future that is in keeping with out idea of
intermodalism; I can  put in writing that the Town would have sole use and
ownership of the pier; the memorandum of agreement would contain that
proviso; I will confer with FHWA and RIDOT and make them aware of your
concerns and endeavor to produce a letter that addresses those concerns.
     Mr. Levesque: It should also state if the Town doesn't want a ferry
boat there, we do not have to have one there.

Howard W. Harding, Jr.: The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt with the
usage by cities and towns of boat ramps or other facilities; it stated a
municipality or state has no jurisdiction over facilities that the federal
government has partially or fully funded.

Mr. Sauzedde: They want to use my money to build it, maintain it, then
tell us how to use it; I do not want it; don't force it upon me.

Council President Amerigian: This subject will be discussed at a future
Council meeting; I would suggest placing it on the July 28 agenda at a
location of suitable size, to be announced. There being no one else
wishing to address the Council, the work session was informally adjourned
at 9:56 PM. 

Attest:

Theresa C. Donovan, CMC
Town Clerk