February 27, 2012

Marion looks to ease parking congestion around Silvershell Beach

By MICHAEL J. DECICCO, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, www.southcoasttoday.com 27 February 2012

MARION – Every summer, the streets around Silvershell Beach are often crowded with cars and beachgoers from out of town.

To address the problem, selectmen have endorsed a plan by Recreation Department director Jonathan “Jody” Dickerson to offer 20 one-day passes daily to non-residents looking to use the town’s beach over the summer season.

Silvershell Beach is officially for Marion and Rochester residents only and a $10 residential parking permit is required to park in the area.

Dickerson said he hopes the daily pass plan will accomplish two things: reduce parking in the Silvershell Beach area and add town revenue. He proposed an escrow account be created to handle sticker receipts from the program.

He also said that money could be spent on the maintenance of Recreation Department buildings.

Before the board’s approval, Selectman Roger Blanchette worried some of that increased revenue could disappear before the town could use it.

“You project about $14,000 in revenue,” Blanchette said. “That’s a lot of cash. Money has the ability to disappear.”

Dickerson, a former police officer, said he has developed a secure plan. All receipts collected during a weekend will be placed in a sealed envelope that will be left at the police station. No one will be able to break the envelope seal without it being obvious someone has done so.

When one resident expressed doubts the plan would ease the parking congestion, Blanchette admitted, “We can’t prevent people from walking onto our beach, by state law. It will be incumbent on us to call the police when there’s a problem.”

Dickerson said he foresees the sticker plan as helping the situation.

“People will choose a way that avoids the risk of getting a parking ticket or being towed away,” he said.

Blanchette added to the approval vote that the program be “tried out” for one year and then revisited if it needs to be revised or abandoned.

The board also agreed to negotiate an agreement to possibly buy energy produced by wind turbines being installed in Plymouth by Future Generations Wind, LLC.

Town Administrator Paul Dawson told residents who were concerned the agreement would lead to building a wind turbine in Marion, “No towers will be built in Marion,” he said. “This is just a memorandum of understanding to discuss buying energy credits. It’s not even a contract to buy power yet.”

He said if in six months a satisfactory contract has not been agreed upon, the memorandum agreement will be null and void.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/27/marion-looks-to-ease-parking-congestion-around-silvershell-beach/