At Monday night's monthly work session of the Greenport Village Board of Trustees, Nyce concluded the meeting by saying he had to end "on a sour note."
Since the boat was finally moved to the county railroad dock a few days ago, Nyce said he has received "a bunch of calls" about the fireboat being moved to the dock, including calls from the county.
"It occurs to me that we've had nothing but headaches from that commercial dock," Nyce said.
Although the village has, several times, looked to expand revenues, by bringing in additional boats to tie up there, Nyce said the county has first said yes, then no, and holds the final say about what happens at the municipal dock.
"I’m suggesting that we allow the county to take back over that dock. It is a liability to us," Nyce said. "And it's not a huge income generator."
Should the county take over the dock, nothing would change regarding day to day operations, he said.
But as it stands, Nyce said, as a village, since they are not allowed to maximize revenues from the dog, he suggested "that we not be the ones holding the bag for them."
The fireboat controversy is the second time that conflict has swirled around the dock; the first time, Nyce said, involved the county and issues with a fishing boat tied up there.
"It's not to the village's great benefit," he said. "If there were a bunch of fishing boats that wanted to tie up there, but there aren't."
Nyce said he'd have to discuss with Village Attorney Joseph Prokop where the village's sub-lease with the county for the dock stands currently.
The mayor asked the board how they felt.
Trustee George Hubbard Jr. said his first thought, when the board voted to move the boat to the railroad dock, but were then told that they couldn't, by the county, was that "the county should handle it. Why are we in the middle? Why are we in charge of the day-to-day headaches if they have the overall right to say yes or no?"Nyce said he has been told "in no uncertain terms" that the county had not given approval for the fireboat's recent move to the railroad dock.
"For the amount of liability and responsibility, I don't see that it's worth it — and while I'm fully supportive of commercial fishing, I've given it a lot of thought. Maybe the county should take responsibility of the dock."
In July, the controversy over the fireboat possibly moving to the railroad dock raged.The board voted in June to move the fireboat to the railroad dock, despite a tide of opposition from fishermen and others in the community who raised safety and environmental concerns.
Much discussion has centered on the original purpose of the railroad dock. An original agreement between Suffolk County, the Long Island Railroad, and the Village of Greenport, dated December, 1982, stated that the village "desires to obtain this real property to be used for docking of fishing and pleasure boats, fishing dock, museum, parking and roadway purposes."
The initial agreement did not state that the dock be used only for commercial purposes, as some have claimed.
Commercial fisherman Sidney Smith has protested the move to the railroad dock, stating that the fireboat poses not only a safety risk, with no inspection records onhand, but also limits his ability to engage in his business.
"The village has never upheld its waterfront revitalization program, which puts a commercial working waterfront as its top priority," Smith said. "It continues to force fisherman out of town when it claims it's a commercial fishing port. Have you ever heard of a commercial fishing dock where you cannot work?"
After hearing that the mayor has suggested turning the dock back over to the county, Smith said, "I know for a fact the county did not want the fireboat at the dock, and they moved it, anyway. No one has worked on this boat like they promised since it got here. They call the shipyard for a place to put it and it got refused there, also."
Smith said the idea of turning back the dock could work. "As far as the county taking over the railroad dock, it could not hurt — the village has never done a thing for commercial fishermen there. It claims to be a working fishing village, but the fact is, a fisherman and his boat have never been welcomed there. The new idea is they rather turn away residents so a mega yacht can visit the town for a month in the summer then leave."