Despite strong support for repairing the flaking pier railings, the Selectmen decided on Wednesday not to put the $60,000 repair project on the warrant for the Town Meeting in October.
Bill Hennessey, chairman of the Harbor Advisory Board, urged the Selectmen to go ahead with the repair project before the Fisherman's Beach pier railings rust out and have to be replaced, which he said would be extremely expensive.
The railings were repaired years ago, but the galvanizing job was so poorly done, it did not last long. A temporary fix of scraping the flaking galvanized paint off and repainting the railings did not last but about six months, Hennessey said.
"The Harbor Advisory Board has been advising the Board of Selectmen about the railings since 2004," he said.
The shards of galvanized paint, which are like glass fragments, are causing a problem for anyone who touches the railings. The town could be sued if someone is hurt, he warned.
The advisory committee, supported by Selectman Glenn Kessler, wanted the town to approve the repair project at the upcoming Town Meeting so the work could be done during the winter.
But Town Administrator Thomas Younger said the town does not have money to pay for the repairs until its free cash is certified by the state in January.
By waiting until May to have the project approved, the pier will have to wait on regalvanized railings until probably late in the fall of 2013. The repairs would take about a month, during which time the pier will have to be closed.
"You don't want to do that at the height of the boating season," Hennessey said.