Getting the Coast Guard House ready for summer

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 6:15pm

Recreation Department Director Dave Sniffen is dusting off the cobwebs from equipment that has been stored during the winter, and making some new purchases, to get ready for the summer season.

Summer 2019 makes its unofficial debut this Memorial Day weekend on Friday, May 24.

Sniffen is a little anxious about a couple of things. He has summer employees who are provided housing at the Coast Guard House, but the water main connecting the house has not been repaired yet.

“I have to get people in there,” said Sniffen to the Recreation Board on Tuesday, May 21. “We have to get that house ready.”

Town Facilities Manager Sam Bird said the house will be inhabitable by the weekend.

“We’ve had some delays getting the waterline repaired,” said Bird. “We’re scrambling with that. We’re looking at our options.” As for getting people into the house by Memorial Day?

“We’re going to get them in,” said Bird.

The Recreation Department is looking for people to sign up for its Walking Tour event the week of June 10. The inaugural event was held last last year. Sign up ahead of time at or call the Recreation Office at (401) 466-3223 for prices and other information. The Walking Tour is one of several events that week held by various organizations designed to showcase the island before the summer season hits its peak. Other attractions will be the Block Island Music Festival, Restaurant Week, and the Block Island Film Festival.

The Recreation Board is also looking at options to keep trash off Fred Benson Town Beach and to ensure it is deposited into the dumpsters located at the Beach Pavilion. Sniffen hopes to get local businesses to sponsor paper bags that can be provided beachgoers so that whatever trash and garbage is generated during their stay can be easily gathered up and deposited. Sniffen said he also hopes to place prominent signs in front of the dumpsters reminding visitors and residents alike that littering comes with a $200 fine.