STONINGTON — The Board of Selectmen authorized funding Wednesday to move forward with the repair of the Isham St. boat ramp in Mystic, which will likely be finished in Spring 2019.
The ramp was closed to trailered boats in July after a boater sustained an injury because a section of the blacktop had washed away and created an uneven surface on the ramp.
Now protected by jersey barriers, the ramp continues to be available for launching canoes and kayaks.
The town’s insurance carrier, Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, known as CIRMA, advised the town to limit the use of the ramp to “roof top boats,” such as canoes and kayaks” to avoid further risk.
To complicate matters, First Selectman Rob Simmons said when the town contacted the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, it learned the launch was not officially recognized by the agency.
The town has secured the services of Docko Inc., of Mystic, a marine engineering and permitting company, for an engineering study and redesign of the ramp, at a cost of about $6,000.
Town Engineer Scot Deledda, who attended the selectmen’s meeting, said the new ramp could be constructed using precast concrete, which the town’s highway crew had the capability to install.
Simmons said public access to the water was important but also had to be safe.
“We do not want to have an injury that could be painful and expensive to a family and also to the town,” he said.
Selectman John Prue said obtaining official permitting and a new, safe boat ramp was a positive step toward keeping the launch open for years to come.
“When it is done and it is open, we will have the survey, we’ll have the permitting, we’ll have everything that will keep it as an asset to the town for the next 100 years and it’s money well-spent,” he said.