Marking the end of a year-long process involving state, federal and local authorities, the town of Aquinnah officially took ownership of the Gay Head Light on Friday. The transfer clears the way for the lighthouse to be moved away from the eroding Gay Head cliffs this spring.

The federal General Services Administration, which formerly managed the site, had planned to deliver the deed in person, but was unable to make the trip. The deed arrived at the Aquinnah town offices on Friday.

The transfer of the structure and property, from application to ownership, “has to be a record time for such transfers,” the Gay Head Lighthouse committee said in a statement. “This speaks to the awareness of all the federal, state and local authorities of the urgency of this move to beat Mother Nature’s ticking clock.”

Last March, the town submitted an application to the federal government to take possession of the lighthouse, which was declared surplus property by the U.S. Coast Guard. The town was approved for ownership in the fall.

A memorandum of understanding among the General Services Administration, the Coast Guard, the National Park Service, the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) was approved earlier this month. The agreement set the terms for the transfer, along with “the plans for future management, maintenance and care for the structure in perpetuity,” according to the statement.

“Without ownership we couldn’t proceed with many of our plans,” Len Butler, chairman of the lighthouse relocation committee, said Tuesday.

The next steps in the lighthouse relocation project will be to reinforce the 1856 brick and masonry structure with shoring and bracing, and to complete an archaeological survey of the foundation of the former lightkeeper’s house, as required by the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

International Chimney Corporation of Williamsville, N.Y., is expected to begin preparing the structure in mid-March, and to break ground on the move in April. Public Archaeology Lab of Pawtucket, R.I., will conduct the archaeological survey. The lighthouse committee had originally hoped to break ground in March, but Mr. Butler said the project is still on track to be completed by this summer.

The project has attracted state and national interest. In June 2013, the National Trust for Historic Places named the lighthouse one of America’s 11 most endangered historic places.

Mr. Butler said he expects to see a major increase in visitors to the relocated lighthouse this summer.