5. Chair’s Report
Steve Hines reported on the meeting with the NRA and Mayor Holaday on March 14.
On a positive note the mayor agreed to partner with the Trust for the Phase 1
environmental assessment. The Trustees were disappointed, however, the NRA members
voted to transfer parcels D1 and D2 to the Custom House Maritime Museum. NRA
attorney Carol Powers recommended D1 be conveyed to the CHMM in its entirely, rather
than transferring the waterside portion of the parcel to the Trust. In addition to her
concern about the length of the land court process, she believes dividing the parcel, as a
whole would make the conveyance as secure as possible against a lawsuit. She also
recommended an easement be immediately granted to the Waterfront Trust for the
waterside portion of the parcel. The Trust wishes to own the boardwalk and bulkhead
and has indicated an unwillingness to assume responsibility for the maintenance of
property it does not hold. Carol Powers and CHMM attorney Lisa Mead worked on an
agreement through which the WFT would buy back the waterside portion of D1 for the
sum of $1. Neither the Trustees nor their counsel were included in this discussion. The
Trustees would want this to be included as a part of the initial land transfer agreement
between the NRA and CHMM, not a later agreement between the CHMM and the WFT.
Included in the NRA vote to transfer D2 was the stipulation the land would revert to the
Trust if the CHMM wished to divest itself of the parcel and plans for the land could not
be undertaken until the expanded park has been designed. It was noted the NRA has not
asked the CHMM how it intends to fund the maintenance of this parcel.
Bob Uhlig has asked the Trust for a financial pro forma and a timeline for a park
design and the revisions to the Trust document. Wilbur Shenk has prepared an action
plan. He said there are six outstanding items to be resolved before the MOU is signed.
He suggested the Trustees meet with Everett Chandler to ensure the survey includes all of
the elements of concern to the Trust. The Trust amendments, survey and Phase 1
environmental assessment do not need to be completed before the MOU is signed. Grace
Connolly was instructed to continue drafting the MOU and amendments to the Trust
document. The final design of the expanded park will not be included in the MOU.
While input of the Trustees and public would be necessary, the Trustees are in favor of
the NRA issuing the RPFs for the design after the MOU has been signed.
A discussion took place on banning dogs in the park and on the boardwalk. Their waste
causes odors and presents a health issue. Suggestions included keeping dogs off the grass
in July and August, pressure washing the boardwalk and creating a defined dog area. A
smoking ban was also discussed. No consensus was reached and the issue will be
revisited at a future meeting.