Manchester is firming up and funding a 29-hour-per-week position for an assistant harbormaster, who would coordinate clerical work such as mooring records for the town's harbor.
And the chairwomen of the Harbor Advisory Committee says the committee has also identified 40-50 moorings that have been "abandoned" and will now be reassigned based on the morning waiting list.
Police Chief Glenn McKiel, who dually acts as harbormaster, and Karen Smith Crawley, who chairs the Harbor Advisory Committee, presented the town's Board of Selectmen with information and proposals to stabilize and improve the status of the harbor moorings and revenues at a Monday night meeting.
The first proposal came in the form of the new administrative position being sought for the Harbormaster's Department, which would be filled from outside of the police department.
The position, recommended by McKiel, would include clerical duties with the "goal of improvement", he said. Crawley also added that the position's advertised qualification includes extensive "depth and knowledge with marina operations."
The position would be held for 29.25 hours per week with a proposed salary of $40,000, according to selectwoman Mary Hardwick — making the hourly rate approximately $26.31.
In order to begin advertising and filling the position, McKiel needed $8,500 to cover a shortfall for this fiscal year's harbormaster salary budget.
Town Administrator, Wayne Melville also said that approving the money transfer before advertising the job would be logical so the position would not be subject to funding, which could cause skepticism among potential applicants.
The transfer was approved by the selectman, so the money is now in place.
McKiel said that it would be beneficial to hire the proposed position sooner rather than later — adding that sooner should be prior to Dec. 1.
"The clock is ticking," said McKiel. "We are going to fix this," he said of the harbor in regards to organizing the mooring.
The selectmen also inquired about benefits that the new position holder would inherit.
McKiel said there is a structural deficit built into the system and the health insurance would carry over with the replacement of another position. The new position would inherit the benefits that the now-associate harbormaster, Peter Mains, has when he retires. Hardwick said that Mains is scheduled to retire in the near future, but a definite date has not been determined.
The other issue Crawley outlined for the selectman was the discovery of approximately 40-50 "abandoned" moorings that are scheduled to be reassigned, according to the mooring waiting list.
The Manchester harbor waiting list includes just under 400 people, with members paying $10 a year to remain in line for a mooring. The open moorings will now alleviate some of the wait time for those on the list.
Crawley attributed the findings to the hard work of the committee, McKiel, and Gabriele Mongiello. now the associate harbormaster.
The Harbor Advisory Committee is also working with Jim Starkey, former chairman of the committee, and using his knowledge of the area to improve the harbor, said Hardwick.
Kendra Noyes can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3447, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.