Lt. Gov. Driscoll, state officials visit Marion harbormaster construction site

May 22, 2024

MARION — A group of state and local officials donned white hard hats and high visibility vests before filing up a tall flight of stairs into the unfinished Marion harbormaster facility that looks out over Sippican Harbor.

Marion Harbormaster Adam Murphy led Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao and other Commonwealth and local officials through the building on May 22, which is expected to be completed in September.

The approximately $3.5 million project received $1.6 million in state funding, which was matched by the town of Marion.

“I wouldn’t want to miss the chance to see this building in progress and see some of the investments we’re making,” Driscoll said during a ceremony Wednesday afternoon just outside the construction site.

Murphy said the current harbormaster building is “cramped and outdated” while the new facility will provide the department “with the space and resources it deserves.”

The $1.6 million in state funds was “more than just a grant” but “an investment in our future,” he said.

Hao said when the state and town work together they “accomplish great things.”

“I can’t think of a better visual for that than going from this little tiny shack to this incredible building and all of the work that it took to get here,” Hao said.

Driscoll said that decisions to free up local dollars for these projects are “tough votes.” 

The community was hesitant about the new facility, Murphy said as he led officials through the facility under construction.

“This was a big step for the town of Marion moving forward,” he said.

Marion voters twice approved town funding for the project, once in 2022 for $700,000 and again in 2023 for the town to borrow $922,000 to complete the project.

Standing inside the unfinished harbormaster facility, Driscoll said the state administration wants to “be the catalyst to support local investments,”

“That’s why we put some money in, everybody’s got some skin in the game, it’s a little easier to get things funded,” she said during the ceremony.

Hao said that to see the new harbormaster building — expected to be completed in September — and the impact the facility will have is “really something special.”

“This incredible partnership commitment is really impressive,” she said.