At its meeting Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen will discuss a proposed ordinance that would eliminate nearly all "motorized vessels" from the Farmington River.
The potential return of motorized boats to the Farmington River was one concern expressed during a recent "Upper Mill Pond" study process that looked at recreational opportunities for the Farmington River above the upper Collinsville dam, first selectman Richard Barlow said.
"The ordinance is an outcome of the comments we had during the Upper Mill Pond Study," Barlow said.
Some residents also expressed concern about it in a related survey and one respondent wrote in favor of motorboats returning to the river.
Selectmen will discuss and potentially vote on the measure Wednesday. It would levy a fine up to $100 for those operating a watercraft with an electric, diesel or gas motor in the river with the exception of law enforcement, rescue personnel or others designated by the town.
Although it's not on the agenda this week, another goal of the town's for the Farmington River has proved challenging.
While Barlow said putting in a boat launch and related infrastructure for non-motorized craft near the public works garage is still a priority, the town has met some challenges with the process, including cost.
While a few have suggested an ad hoc solution, a boat ramp and dock that would meet the necessary approvals and not be subject to the potential action from the state would be an expensive proposition, town officials said.
Although it's just a preliminary estimate and changes could be made, the launch, site work and related professional services and permits could cost $75,000 or more, project administrator Jeff Shea said.
Part of the challenge is an approval process that would require permits from the town, state department of Energy and Environmental Protection and likely the Army Corps of Engineers, town officials said.
"It's certainly got a lot more up-front costs than you would think," Barlow said.
While town officials said the project is on hold, Barlow said it's still something the town plans on pursuing. He said some charitable organizations have expressed an interest in helping with such a project. The town can also check the availability of grants from river advocacy groups, Barlow added.