Ferry dock repairs, zoning change tops council agenda

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Portsmouth Town Council will discuss repairs to a ferry dock and a request for a zoning change at its next meeting on Monday, Jan. 23.

Repairs to Ferry Dock

The council will discuss and could possibly take action on a request to fund repairing a ferry dock in Bristol. 

A&R Marine, current operators for the Prudence Island Ferry, are requesting a cost share for repairing the west end of the Church Street dock in Bristol (the landing dock for the Prudence Island Ferry).

Under the proposal, the town of Portsmouth would pay one third of the costs. Another third would be paid by the town of Bristol, while A&R Marine would cover the final third due.

According to Stephen Antaya, president of A&R Marine, “the Church Street dock has been used for more than 100 years to provide ferry service for the Prudence Island residents and is currently leased by A&R Marine Corp from the town of Bristol.” 

Repairs to the dock would include a new ramp. The entire cost of the project is estimated at $125,000.

According to a memo by Town Administrator Richard A. Rainer Jr., the town could cover the costs for the dock repairs with leftover funds from the Prudence Island road paving project, which has a surplus of $151,742.

Zoning Change 

The council will also hear and possible take action on a request to change the zoning ordinance for a Portsmouth business. 

Ann Hackett, owner of the Island Day School, is requesting a zoning change for one of her 2 businesses. The business in question is located at 2477 East Main Road (the Portsmouth Professional Plaza). 

Hackett is requesting the town permit day care facilities in this particular zone by special use permit.

While the property is located in a commercial district, it is also situated in the overlay district of the town center. Daycare facilities are not allowed in the overlay district. 

The council will also hear an update on the town’s finances and information about the THP Project Purple Initiative, which is being held this week. 

Click hear to view the entire Town Council agenda for Jan. 23

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, 2200 East Main Road. 

Prudence Island Residents

Residents of Prudence Island wishing to attend the council meeting might be in for a wet, bumpy ferry ride into Bristol.

However, those attending the meeting would likely need to stay on the mainland due to departure times. The last departing ferry from Bristol leaves at 5:30 p.m. 

A coastal storm with heavy rain and high wind gusts is expected for Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning. While no cancellations have been announced at this time, the storm could impact ferry service. 

The following Prudence Island Ferry schedule is provided below (as of Sunday afternoon). 

January 1, 2017 – March 31, 2017

Monday – Wednesday
Depart Bristol
Arrive Prudence
Depart Prudence
Arrive Bristol
* Wednesday Only

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