Cherry Hill Lane making progress (with one little mishap)

Fri, 12/20/2019 - 10:00am

The Block Island Housing Board had good progress to report on its Cherry Hill Lane affordable housing development at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Landscaping bids will be solicited; all the prospective homeowners have paid their deposits and are moving through their mortgage approval process; and as of that morning, six of the 16 modules that will make up the five new homes had arrived on the island and were trucked to the site off Cooneymus Road.

Board Chair Cindy Pappas told the Board the foundations are complete and insulated, the new road “is holding up very nicely” and the modules at the site appeared intact.

Then, on Friday, Dec. 13, the Block Island ferry M.V. Manitou ran into rough seas and the module it was carrying was damaged in transit.

According to eyewitnesses who were at Old Harbor when the boat arrived, the module had not been secured to its trailer, and the load shifted during the passage from Point Judith, damaging both the structure and the stairway to the passenger deck. There was no crane on the island able to lift the box back onto the trailer. (Pappas had told the Board on Tuesday that the crane needed to assemble the modules was due to arrive on island on Monday Dec. 16. It was hoped that “as many of the boxes will be on the island as possible, to make good use of the crane,” she said at the time.)

Representatives of the general contractor for the project, Pariseault Builders, refused delivery of the module, and it was sent back to the mainland on the Manitou.

Pariseault has chartered the Manitou from Interstate Navigation to bring the modules to the island one by one.

Also at the meeting, the Housing Board members reviewed and edited a draft Request for Proposals for landscaping work at Cherry Hill Lane. The final form of the RFP document will be set after consultations with Pariseault Builders and the town Finance Department. The board anticipates that the bid package will be advertised in January 2020.

The Board is already looking forward to its next project, building on undeveloped land on the south side of West Side Road next to the E. Searles Ball rental apartments and across from the Salt Pond Settlement. Pappas asked the board members to come to their January meeting with their ideas on how to use the parcel (Plat 18, Lot 2-3).

The Housing Board’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 5 at 5 p.m. at the Town Hall. All the 2020 meetings are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month.

From January through April, the board will meet at 5 p.m.; from May to September, at 7 p.m.; and from October through December at 5 p.m.