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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Tale of Two Beaches

That was the title of the presentation, at last night’s Town Council meeting, from the ad hoc Beach Structure Committee.

The goal of the committee was to develop a plan to move our beach facilities out of third-world status and give a boost to the vacation image of our town. As others doing construction now have learned, this is the ideal time to get aggressive, low pricing on construction costs.

The committee looked at two alternatives that would be installed at each or our two beaches: 1) trailer toilets, basically new versions of the ones we have that need replacing and 2) a permanent structure. The trailers would cost about one-third that of a permanent structure but would have to be replaced about every 10 years.

Current Town Beach Facilities
Not what you would put on a Charlestown propotional flyer
A new "portable" facility would be much like this

Current state of Blue Shutters facility
The interior is now considered unusable

In approximate terms, the portable units would cost us about 2.5 cents per $1,000 of property valuation in taxes each year while the fixed construction would cost us about 3.5 cents. That translates to about $10 per year more in taxes for a $300,000 home for the permanent building.

The big difference is in the resulting appeal of our beach facilities as you can see by comparing our current “portable” unit to the concept drawing of the permanent building below (you can click on it for a larger view). The Parks & Rec director was questioned about whether our town beaches have more capacity, if this makes the beaches more popular, and he explained that they have been running at about half of capacity on weekdays.

Two views of the proposed new facility
Identical ones would be built at the two beaches
This is something I can see in a Charlestown promotional flyer!

The town council voted on Monday night to bring the permanent structure, not the purchase of new portables, to the voters for approval of a bond to fund the construction. The vote will likely be at the same time as approval of the 2011-2012 budget.

We will be reporting more on this but I wanted to get the information out as soon as possible.

Author: Tom Ferrio