The recent resignation of the Falmouth Steamship Authority governor has stalled discussion of a new Woods Hole terminal.
Falmouth boat line governor Robert S. Marshall announced his resignation in late November following a public hearing which involved a heated discussion over preliminary plans for a new terminal.
The temporary vacancy makes it difficult to move forward with terminal design plans, SSA general manager Wayne Lamson said at the monthly boat line meeting Tuesday in Woods Hole.
“We are kind of in a tough position right now without having a Falmouth member,” Mr. Lamson said, adding that a more concrete plan for a new terminal will not be presented until February.
Falmouth selectman Mary Pat Flynn, who attended the meeting, assured governors that her board will move quickly to appoint a replacement.
“We have already received a number of applications from some very qualified people,” she said.
The selectmen hope to make the appointment before the next SSA meeting in January, she said.
SSA governors extended thanks to Mr. Marshall for more than a decade of service.
“Mr. Marshall put in many, many years of tireless, thankless hours into the board, and his commitment to Falmouth and the Steamship is legendary,” said chairman Robert F. Ranney from Nantucket.
He moved for the board to send Mr. Marshall a letter “in recognition of his more than a decade of service in a position that goes unnoticed and often unthanked.”
The boat line is considering three design concepts for the Woods Hole terminal reconstruction project. Woods Hole residents have already raised concerns about the impact of a larger terminal on their village.
At the meeting, Ron Liebis, a part-time resident of Woods Hole, asked for a three-dimensional representation of the design concepts, so community members could better assess what it would look like from different angles and different positions on Water street.
All three concept plans call for demolishing the existing terminal and moving administrative offices to another location. They also include reconstruction and realignment of the two operational slips, as well as the addition of a third.
The existing slips are at their life expectancy, Mr. Lamson said earlier.
In other business, the board awarded a contract to Elliott Bay Design Group for design and engineering of a new vehicle and passenger ferry to replace the freight ferry Governor. The Governor turns 60 this year, Mr. Lamson said.
The SSA acquired the vessel from the Coast Guard in 1998 for a dollar and eventually spent some $1 million to refurbish the vessel.
Design and engineering services for a new ferry will cost $2 million.
The Seattle-based group also designed the Island Home, the newest member of the SSA fleet, which cost $32.1 million.
And as the year draws to a close, passenger traffic on the boat line is up slightly, freight traffic is up solidly and automobile traffic is flat. Overall numbers through November show passenger traffic increased 1.2 per cent compared with last year. Automobile traffic is up 0.1 per cent. Freight traffic has increased 5.4 per cent compared to last year.
A construction contract for the new ferry is expected in fall of 2014, with construction to be completed in 2016.