Heather McKim, Staff Writer

Photo by Louisa Schibli

Residents who attended the Town Beach party may have noticed the docks have a new look. That’s because at the July 10 meeting of the Charlotte Selectboard, a unanimous decision was made to replace the decking.

That re-decking project was necessary, Recreation Director Nicole Conley explained at the meeting, because boards were splintering and rotting. She laid out the options for replacement: cedar board decking and installation for $4,000 or synthetic nylon deck boarding for $9,400.

Steve Williams who, along with his son Justin, has been responsible for keeping the beach in good shape had been consulted about the decking. Williams recommended cedar boarding for the project, because synthetic boards can warp in the heat and cost three to four times more than cedar.

There was concern that the Recreation Commission did not have the funds in the Recreation capital budget for the project. A discussion ensued regarding funding sources, including the Town Improvement and Repair Fund. A friendly amendment was made by Selectboard member Fritz Tegatz to fund the project out of the Improvement and Repair Fund.

Board members decided that the decking would be replaced with 6-foot cedar board panels. The plan was to have the project carried out as soon as possible, and that is exactly what happened.

Conley promptly contacted Williams of SJ Williams who, she explained in an interview, has been a preferred vendor to Charlotte for Town Beach repairs for a number of years. “We have been really happy with all their work,” she said of the company, adding that she trusts the Williams’ expertise.

The project was completed on July 14, the day before the annual beach party.

The new decking is expected to last a number of years, but just how long is unclear. The previous decking had been in place, Conley said, for about five years or so. It had taken a lot of wear and tear. The future for the new decking will depend on factors such as the amount of use and weather conditions. Windy days, Conley explained, mean that the water hits the docks and results in wear and tear. However, she expects that the new cedar planks used in the project should hold up well.

The quick turnaround time on the project was appreciated. Conley was happy to have the new decking in place for residents to enjoy at the party.