By Beth David, Editor
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito visited Fairhaven last Wednesday, 8/31, to tour Union Wharf and see first hand the work being done with state grant money. The Lt. Governor is chair of the Seaport Economic Council, which awarded the competitive grant of $950,000 on August 16.
The money will be used for phase II of the project rebuilding the bulkhead. The east and west sides have been done, where the large transient boats tie up and the side that faces the lobster basin. Part of the north side was also done with the last grant. The new grant will allow work on the north side to be finished and part of the south side.
“Council grants will help communities plan for growth and leverage their unique economic assets to support job creation and business expansion,” said the Lieutenant Governor in a statement when the grant was awarded. “Funding marine infrastructure improvements and educational programs supports small business growth and ensures residents can access the skills they need for employment in the maritime economy.”
Ms. Polito was joined in Fairhaven by local officials, including Town Administrator Mark Rees.
He said the money will take us about 75% of the way to finishing the project.
The project has been years in the making, with Town Meeting approving a land swap so the town could tear down the old MacLean’s Seafood building.
Town Planner and Economic Development Director Bill Roth spearheaded the project, which included numerous permits from both state and federal agencies because the wharf is in the Designated Port Area of New Bedford Harbor.
The project includes a platform where the old building stood and a permit to build on it. The platform is over the water of the harbor.
The wharf is owned by the town and is used by commercial scallopers, draggers and lobster boats.
The $950,000 was part of $2.9 million in grants awarded to nine projects.