The city's harbormaster office will cease operations at 19 Harbor Loop on Monday, temporarily moving out to allow construction to begin on a new visiting boater center and an upgraded harbormaster's office at the site.

Harbormaster T.J. Ciarametaro and his staff are set to take up temporary quarters at the city Veterans Service Center at 12 Emerson Ave. until the scheduled completion next spring of the visitor boater center and a renovated harbormaster's office.

But here's the rub: The harbormaster staff cannot move into their temporary Emerson Avenue digs until Oct. 15.

So, for at least a week, it will be harbormaster on the hoof, with the office operating remotely and with a priority emphasis on attending to emergencies and vital boating and safety services.

"For that week, our operations will continue, but we're trying to limit the day-to-day operations, things like permitting and moorings and concentrate on emergencies until we get settled in the new space," Ciarametaro said. "As soon as we get everything set up down there on Emerson Avenue, it will be back to normal."

Ciarametaro said residents and businesses requiring emergency assistance should call 978-423-4165 during that week. 

Those requesting non-emergency services should email Ciarametaro at tciarametaro@gloucester-ma-gov and the office will respond.

Again, Ciarametaro stressed, the remote operations are only for the week until the harbormaster office establishes its temporary operations within the Veterans Service Center.

Also, he suggested that anyone needing assistance with non-emergency services should visit the 19 Harbor Loop office before the 3 p.m. close of business on Friday.

After Oct. 15, all shoreside operations will run out of the Emerson Avenue facility pending the completion of the combined $1.6 million project to build out the new harbormaster office and construct the visiting boater center.

Ciarametaro said all harbormaster vessels will remain docked at their usual spaces off Solomon Jacobs Landing during full the construction schedule at Harbor Loop.

Ciarametaro said construction is scheduled to begin on the combined project pretty much as soon as the harbormaster staff is out the door. The current work schedule calls for construction to be completed around Memorial Day 2020.

The harbormaster office will receive a major upgrade, including new restrooms, a garage-style facility for day-to-day maintenance of the office fleet of vessels and an enhanced second-floor control room.

It also will include permanent space for Discover Gloucester and a community room to host events and classes, such as courses on recreational boating safety.

The construction of the visiting boater center, long coveted by the city as a means of extending its tourism reach, will include an array of amenities, including showers, restrooms, changing rooms, laundry facilities and a common area with public Wi-Fi access.

The 4,824-square-foot, two-story harbormaster building is owned by National Grid and leased to the city until 2044, with an option to extend the lease for two additional terms of 10 years each. The building sits upon a 0.3-acre parcel adjacent to Solomon Jacobs Park and Landing.

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT

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