Members of the Harbor Commission are moving forward on plans to double the size of the harbormaster’s center on the east end of the boardwalk.
To the uninitiated, there would appear to be an endless number of municipal boards that have an
oar in the water when it comes to development along the river.
In addition to the Harbor Commission, there are the Waterfront Trust, the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, the Historical Commission, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Planning Board and the Planning and Development Committee of the City Council.
That said, the Harbor Commission in the past few years has deployed a pro-active posture relating to life along the boardwalk, which is its mission to supervise and enhance.
Members produced a remarkable amount of historical research and attending paperwork in enabling the city to qualify as a Coast Guard City.
Also, the volunteer board did much of the planning for the subsequent ceremony, a boffo event, that took place with handsome Coast Guard ships glistening in port and a sleek service helicopter passing overhead.
Now the commission is taking procedural steps to increase the size and range of facilities in the area that houses the harbormaster’s office.
Yes, the harbormaster himself, Paul Hogg, needs more space — and certainly bathroom facilities in his office.
But the commission is really pushing for bathrooms and showers for travelers in the hundreds of boats that pull up along the docks each boating season.
The number of tourists who come to the city by boat each summer has increased markedly. Those who know the cruising industry say that Newburyport is lagging in what the public central waterfront offers those who need to freshen up (and start shopping) after arriving.
(An aside: Your Scribe would offer Rockport, Maine, and Rockland, Maine, as waterfront communities that offer excellent facilities for boaters, including showers. Also, Rockport, Mass., has an extensive