New dinghy dock to be installed

At New Harbor
Fri, 06/29/2018 - 8:45am

There is good news for boaters venturing into Block Island’s New Harbor this summer season. A brand new public dinghy dock will soon be installed between Payne’s Dock and Dead Eye Dick’s restaurant.

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council approved plans for the dock at a public hearing at its office in Providence on Tuesday night. The CRMC held a public comment period from May 5 to June 3, prior to granting approval to the Wronowski family, the party responsible for constructing the dock in a joint-partnership with the town.

“I am pleased to report that the CRMC approved the dinghy dock assent order last night allowing us to move forward with construction planning,” New Shoreham Town Manager Ed Roberge told The Block Island Times. “This project is made possible by the collaborative efforts between Island Marine Corp (the Wronowski family) and the town, led by Steve Land, the town’s Harbormaster.”

“This is a really big deal,” said Land, who attended the CRMC hearing with Roberge. 

Land said he hoped that the dinghy dock would be in service for the summer season. “The Wronowski family should be credited for their generosity,” he said.

Jessica Wronowski said, “We are thankful to the CRMC for their guidance throughout this process and their eventual approval. As I’ve watched the harbor fill up over the last few weeks from the deck of Dead Eye’s, it is so clear how important and necessary dinghy space is and how beneficial it will be in that particular location. We’re excited to get started. We are currently working on a construction schedule and will certainly let you know when we have more information. The docks are fabricated and sitting at the ferry in New London, CT right now.”

Seeking a solution for partial closure of the privately owned dock at the Boat Basin last summer, the New Shoreham Town Council unanimously approved the Wronowski family’s proposal at its Feb. 5 meeting. The Wronowski family is leasing their private water/riparian rights for the dockage site to the Town of New Shoreham for one-dollar per year for a 20-year term.

The dock proposal includes installing eight 20-foot long floating sections, and a 50-foot long ADA-compliant aluminum gangway, for dockage that will accommodate about 100 dinghies. The structure will not be connected to town water, sewer or electric, and during winter the docks will be dismantled and stored in the Wronowskis’ storage facility in New London, Conn.

“For the past year or so, the town has struggled with dinghy dock capacity, to a point where public safety is of concern,” noted Roberge. “We are pleased with the approval of this project which will provide free public access to about 100 dinghies on the Great Salt Pond.”   

As for the status of the project, Roberge said, “The floating docks have been built and are ready for installation. Installation of the fixed platforms and piles will take a little time to complete. With last night’s approval, the Harbors Department is working closely with the Wronowski’s to schedule the work. No dates have been set as of yet.”