Ned Dimes Marina.
Ned Dimes Marina

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — The Board of Finance recently approved funding to replace field irrigation at Coleytown Middle School and an analysis of upgrades to the Ned Dimes Marina at Compo.

“This request is for $104,000 to a non-functioning for the installation of an irrigation system for the athletic fields at Coleytown Middle School,” Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Fava told the board Feb. 7. “To replace the system that is no longer functioning.”

The two bids varied widely, the higher one by more than four times, according to a memo from Fava.

She said the higher bid included components beyond what was necessary for the field, which lies between the elementary and middle schools.

Parks Supt. Michael West also fielded questions from the finance board.

“We need irrigation to try to grow grass on our athletic surfaces,” he said. “We’ve been trying to put forward a more concerted effort to improve our spaces, and this is an improvement that would be very needed for this particular space.”

The board approved the appropriation unanimously.

An $80,000 allocation also was requested by the Parks and Recreation Department “for analysis, design and preparation of construction documents for replacement of critical elements of the Ned Dimes Marina.”

“This is a joint project between Parks and Recreation and DPW [the Department of Public Works], and it actually spans three different items,” Fava said.

“It encompasses the replacement of the fuel dock at Compo Marina, the replacement of the north and main piers at Compo Marina, and the electrical panel and equipment replacement at Compo Marina,” she said.

“This request is for the analysis and design, bid documents and permitting related to these different repairs,” she said.

“In terms of funding for this project, we’re already in the process of increasing our boater fees to cover these expenses and the anticipated debt service,” she said, adding that would happen incrementally.

The Board of Finance.
The Board of Finance

Public Works Director Peter Ratkiewich answered several questions, and stressed the age of some of the piers, pilings and electrical panels.

“The fact that we’ve got pilings here that over 30 years old is pretty surprising, that they haven’t deteriorated further,” he said.

The board, after some questions, voted unanimously to approve the appropriation.

At the same meeting, a much larger appropriation of $6.8 million, was approved to fund the next phase of the Long Lots Elementary School replacement. Read about that here.

All the appropriations will have to be approved by the Representative Town Meeting, the town’s final funding body.

Thane Grauel grew up in Westport and has been a journalist in Fairfield County and beyond for 36 years. Reach him at editor@westportjournal.com. Learn more about us here.