Island Wharf to remain accessible during harbormaster construction

Dec 6, 2023

MARION — While the new proposed Marion Harbormaster building is under construction, residents will still have access to Island Wharf, announced the Marion Select Board at its Dec. 5 meeting. 

According to Marion Town Administrator Geoff Gorman, the town had a “pre-pre-construction” meeting with South Coast Improvement, the contractor hired to construct the harbormaster facility, and determined that there will be public access to “all required areas of the harbor.”

This will include [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant access, added Gorman. 

Marion Select Board member Norm Hills asked how parking at Island Wharf would be affected by construction. According to Gorman, there may be “some impact” but there will be designated parking areas for contractors, two handicapped parking spots and two spots designated for harbormasters. 

“The remainder of the parking will be unaffected,” he said.

Marion residents voted to borrow an additional $922,000 for construction of the project at Fall Town Meeting on Oct. 23.

The total cost of the building is estimated to be just over $3.5 million. According to Gorman, seaport grants and a previous Town Meeting appropriation already cover about $2.3 million of the cost.

The new 1500 square foot harbormaster facility would allow all functions of the harbormaster’s office to be performed in one place, rather than employees having to divide their time between the current building and Town Hall, said Marion Harbormaster Adam Murphy at an information session on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

The new facility would be a single story raised about 22 feet off the ground. A raised deck that faces the water will surround the facility, which will also include an elevator to make the structure handicapped accessible, engineers working on the project have said.

The current harbormaster building is 225 square feet. The building also falls short of code requirements in certain areas, former Marion Harbormaster Isaac Perry said, with only one exit and entrance, for example. Only the doorknobs of the current facility meet standards for the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Perry.