Town Manager Gives Update on Ferry, New Positions

By Adam Swift

The Winthrop Ferry looks to be in the shop for the winter, but should be good to resume services in the spring, according to Town Manager Tony Marino.

The 53-foot Valkyrie ferry is a partnership between Winthrop and Quincy and operates between those two municipalities and the Boston Seaport. This season, the ferry began operating weekdays at the end of May.

According to Marino, this year’s season ended a little earlier than expected.

“The ferry has been down for the last couple of weeks,” Marino told the Town Council last week. “We had some engine issues and towed it to Newburyport for repairs.”

The ferry will likely need a new engine, and Marino said the town was getting an estimate on how much that would cost.

“That means the ferry will be down for the remainder of the season, but we hope to get it back up and running and ready to go by March,” said Marino.

In other business, Marino said the town has advertised for the new Chief Financial Officer position, which will be shared by the municipal government and the schools.

“We are hoping to get some qualified candidates for that,” he said.

Earlier in the fall, Marino said the position would not replace any positions on the school or town sides, and that school business officer manager Noel Velez and assistant CFO Robert Powers would both report to the new position.

While the CFO would oversee some of the big picture items, such as end of the year reports, Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard said the business office would still oversee the day to day financial concerns of the school department.

Marino also noted that he will be updating the Town Council on trash rates at its next meeting.

“We have a pretty solid draft put together right now,” he said.

The town is also seeking proposals for legal services, Marino added.

“We did put out an RFP for legal services to see what is out there,” he said. “Obviously, (current legal firm KP Law) will put in a bid, but there are other town counsel services out there, so they will be due to my office by Nov. 30.”

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