WETHERSFIELD - The Wethersfield Harbor Management Commission is looking to give Wethersfield Cove an upgrade.
The Commission’s Harbor Management Plan, which includes environmental protection measures and new docks and moorings, has been approved by the Wethersfield Town Council, with construction on the latter two tentatively scheduled for the end of the summer.
“They’ve been boating down there for a long time,” said Kathy Baglee, Staff Liaison to the Harbor Management Commission. “It’s probably been 30 years that [the docks] have been there.”
The existing docks are not only old, but out of date by design as well, Bagley said. Because they are anchored to the bottom of the cove, they are inaccessible during high tide. The new docks are built to rise with the water level in the event of tide changes and storm surges, Bagley said.
The Commission plans to add 20 new permanent moorings for tying up boats. These two components of the project should be covered by a $494,000 grant from the state, Bagley said.
A second phase will include the addition of a new boat launch ramp, but the Commission does not have funding for that at this time, Bagley said.
The initiative was welcomed by Jim Harris, a Rocky Hill resident and chairman of the Wethersfield Yacht Club’s Board of Trustees.
“The club has a long history on the cove,” Harris said at the Council meeting two weeks ago, during which the plan was approved. “We are happy to support a plan that will manage and support the cove.”
Long term components of the plan will look to monitor the water quality of the Cove, which has been a challenge to maintain due to the absence of outflow via a river, Bagley said.
“It’s not water you would want to swim in because it doesn’t get flushed out a lot,” she said.
Bagley expects the ongoing MDC sewer reconstruction project to help with that.
“Overtime that water quality will clean up a bit,” Bagley said.
Residents who attended the meeting expressed concern over the costs of future environmental efforts within the plan, for which a price tag has yet to be determined.
“With the state being in the dire straits it’s in, I think it’s important that our elected officials don’t lose sight of the bottom line of how much it will cost,” said resident George Rue.
Resident Bob Young echoed this sentiment.
“I really think it should be left alone,” Young said. “Let nature do with it, what nature should do. I don’t think we need to spend money where we don’t need.”