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WMAC won’t recommend Vella dock plan

JULIE LANE PHOTO Marine contractor Jack Costello listened Monday night to Waterways Management Advisory Committee members debate the efficacy of his client, Zach Vella, bringing a large boat to Dering Harbor waters near the Shelter Island Yacht Club.

JULIE LANE PHOTO Marine contractor Jack Costello listened Monday evening to Waterways Management Advisory Committee members debate the merits of his client, Zach Vella, bringing a large boat to Dering Harbor waters near the Shelter Island Yacht Club.

Just when marine contractor Jack  Costello thought he was home free with an alternative plan for a dock in Dering Harbor near the Shelter Island Yacht Club, hope vanished Monday night.

For a good hour and a half, the Waterways Management Advisory Council (WMAC) debated whether Mr. Costello’s plan to move a dock inward toward the shore would allow client Zach Vella to maneuver a 38-foot boat in and out without endangering other boats.

Then came the bombshell. That 38-foot boat, already a concern for the WMAC, was, in fact, a 45-foot boat.

That was something that Mr. Costello hadn’t known until he got word during the meeting about exactly what kind of boat was under discussion.

No go, pronounced a unanimous WMAC membership. Up until that moment, most were leaning toward giving an advisory opinion in favor of Mr. Costello’s dock design so the boat would not stick farther out in the water than the end of the dock.

But the new information changed all that.

Committee member Mike Anglin, a professional who maneuvers a 19-foot boat in that area setting moorings and conducting other marine contracting projects, was clear that there was no way a 45-foot craft could safely move in an out of that area.

It was committee member Marc Wein who resisted from the outset saying he wanted a survey of the area to determine exactly where moorings belonging to the Shelter Island Yacht Club were.

Councilman Paul Shepherd agreed with Mr. Wein, pointing out that you can’t make plans without knowing what’s actually happening in the surrounding waterways.

“I don’t see that boat going there,” pronounced member James Eklund. He suggested Mr. Vella put the large boat on a mooring and get a smaller boat to transport him and passengers to where the large boat would be parked.

The WMAC makes its recommendations to the Town Board that ultimately makes the decision, but seldom bucks WMAC advice.

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