Lobster buyer appeals Rockland’s pier permit process

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 8:45am

ROCKLAND — One lobster dealer is currently taking up the two large buying stations at the Rockland Municipal Fish Pier. Another buyer wants one of those spots and is appealing to City Council after his permit request was declined by the Harbor Management Commission.

Brian Rockett will present his case to Council, Tuesday, May 21, at 5:30 p.m., in Council Chambers.

Though the permits for the two large and two small buying stations were assigned in April, no money had been collected as of May 6. Therefore, should the Council side with Rockett, the contracts already in place could be considered void.

As quickly as Council wishes to resolve the issue since the lobster season has already begun, they also are making haste to create some rules around the four buying spots.

“The only documents that Tom [Luttrell, city manager] and I have found that apply to the fish pier are the fee-setting schedule that have some rules, and the application form,” said City Attorney Mary Costigan, at the May 6 agenda-setting meeting. “This appeal is saying that there’s one lobster dealer who is taking up two of the spots. There are no rules about who can occupy the fourth spot. One thing that may come out of this is that you may want to create some rules.”

Currently, the buying stations are based on square footage and the size of the boat that can come along side of the pier, not by poundage, according to City Council member Ed Glaser.

“Years ago, when we first started the fish pier, it was how much was loading across the dock,” he said. “But it just became impossible to keep tabs on everything that was going on. So, we came up with a fee which was just a set fee based somewhat on how much the fish pier needs to operate every year. We realigned the amount based on what we thought each one of those would make.”