Marion harbormaster office project awarded $1 million in state funding

Jul 27, 2022

MARION — The construction project for Marion’s new maritime center and harbormaster office got a $1 million boost thanks to a grant from the Seaport Economic Council.

The town was awarded a $1 million grant on Tuesday from the Seaport Economic Council. 

The funds are designated for the construction of a new Maritime Center and Harbormaster Office at the Island Wharf property. 

With the addition of this grant to a previous Seaport Economic Council grant for $303,000, the total funding for the project is $1.3 million, about 45% of the estimated $2.9 million cost.

Eighteen other towns and cities in Massachusetts received funding in this round of Seaport Economic Council Grants, totaling nearly $10.8 million in funding for the state’s seaports.   

According to Harbormaster Issac Perry, the grant is “definitely a step in the right direction.”

These funds will be used to complete design and engineering documents, allowing the town to begin soliciting bids for construction. 

During May’s town meeting, voters agreed to support the construction of a new harbormaster’s office and maritime center that is designed to provide more space for department employees and for storage. 

According to Perry, if the town can secure an additional $1 million from state or federal sources like FEMA or other economic councils, then a $700,000 bond from the Marion waterways account will round out the remainder of the cost. This will allow the department to pay back the balance over time. 

The funding from the waterways account will not incur an additional cost on town residents, nor will it raise boating fees, said Perry. 

The waterways account funding also considers any increased expenses that could raise the price of materials or labor above the estimated $2.9 million cost. 

The next steps include securing local and state permits for the project.

“If everything falls into place,” said Perry, “we hope to have this project begin construction by fall of 2023.”