Dennis Harbormaster Seeking Money for New Boat

KA_Dennis_town hall 31_11713DENNIS – The town of Dennis is looking to purchase a patrol boat for the Harbormaster, who is currently working without one.

Harbormaster Dawson Farber requested $175,000 to purchase a new boat but the town’s Finance Committee requested that number be cut to $125,000.

Proposed cuts to boat include reducing its size and power, as only one outboard motor would be equipped instead of the two originally requested. The limited size would also mean less space for passengers.

“Basically, what we will lose is, I think, essentially the equivilant of four individual persons standing upright,” said Farber while addressing the board of selectmen recently.

Other cuts to reduce the cost would also include removing the spotlight and floodlight.

“How do you do a rescue at night without floodlights and a spotlight,” said Selectman Wayne Bergeron. “It is absurd.”

Bergeron also criticized the finance committee for not treating the Harbormaster the same as other public safety departments.

“The finance committee doesn’t tell the police department what they have to have for safety stuff it is assumed that they know. They don’t tell the fire department how big the ambulance has to be or anything else,” he said. “But when it comes to the harbor it is a whole different ballgame.”

Another issue is the lack of a defibrillator at Sesuit Harbor. The last one the harbor had is not usable after it was found partially under water.

“You need the defibrillator as well,” said Selectman Paul McCormick, who echoed Bergeron’s stance on the patrol boat funding. “It’s an ambulance on the water.”

Farber said several other local communities have equipment similar to what was in his first request.

“The original proposal would fall right on the average line,” he said. “Looking at the coastal communities the average size was 24 feet in length and the average horse power were twin engines at 238 horse power.”

Farber said Yarmouth, Chatham, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Falmouth, Marion, Scituate have the same size boat.

“It’s basically communities that have similar waterways, not protected estuarine areas, but areas on open water,” Farber said.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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