Committee Proposes Review To Free Up Moorings
By: James Kinsella
The Barnstable Waterways Committee is proposing a more frequent review of moorings in town waters as a way to make them more readily available to people who have put their names on mooring waiting lists.
The committee is recommending that a third of the town’s mooring fields be reviewed twice a summer, in the months of July and August.
Town regulations require moorings permitted for town waters to be present in those waters from July 1 to September 1, according to John F. Meade, chairman of the committee.
Based on its research of town mooring fields in recent years, the committee suspects that the summertime examination will reveal that 10 to 20 percent of permitted moorings will be missing. The permit holders, for whatever reason, did not put them in.
And that is a way to open the door for people who have been waiting on lists for years or even decades for a mooring permit in Barnstable town waters.
At present, more than 1,000 names are on waiting lists for boat moorings in the town. This year, the town issued permits for more than 2,500 moorings.
Demand for moorings far outstrips supply, which has been the case throughout the town for much of the past decade. Some people have been waiting for moorings in certain areas, such as Fish Hills, Cotuit and Tim’s Cove, for more than 20 years.
The committee still is working out the details of its recommendation. But the guiding principle is that permit holders whose moorings were missing would have a limited amount to time to get their moorings in the water, or risk losing their permits.
Mr. Meade said the idea of a summertime review that would cover all the town’s mooring fields over a space of three summers appealed to the committee, which has been grappling for months on how to get frozen town mooring waiting lists moving again.
“It’s affordable, it’s simple and it’s already in the regulations,” Mr. Meade said of the proposed mooring field review.
When the committee hones and approves a plan, it will forward its recommendation to Barnstable Town Manager John C. Klimm and Harbor Master Daniel Horn.
Mr. Meade suggests that some people are loath to give up their mooring permits, even if they cannot afford in a given year to put their boat into the water. They fear that once they lose their permits, they may never get them back, or at the least face a very long wait.
But committee members believe if these people see that the summertime review is generating turnover in the mooring fields, and that the waiting lists are moving, they will be less inclined to try to squat on their permits.
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