Bristol's State Street tie-ups remain private

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The owner of Thames Street Landing will retain ownership of the tie-up wall on the north side of the State Street Channel but will share maintenance costs and rental revenue with Bristol, according to an agreement between the owner and the town.

Ownership of the wall has been in dispute for years, dating back to Town Administrator Tony Teixeira's time on the Town Council, he said. During that time, Thames Street Landing owner Lloyd Adams has derived revenue from the wall by renting out the attached boat tie-ups. Some in the town felt the wall should actually belong to Bristol, which has riparian rights to the channel, allowing unfettered access because the channel abuts town land, Mr. Teixeira said.

"There have been some disputed surveys in the past. Some have thought it was unfair for him to be collecting rent on the wall," Mr. Teixeira said. "When it surfaced again now that I'm administrator, I said why don't we settle this once and for all."

The town had the land surveyed to determine the historical property lines, which proved a difficult task. Surveys on the area go back as far as the 1640s. Using buildings that existed at the time and property lines that had been drawn as long ago as the 17th century, the surveyor found the wall and walkway next to the channel where State Street descends into the bay indeed belongs to Thames Street Landing, "and none of it belongs to the town of Bristol," the agreement reads.

But that doesn't mean Bristol is shut out of access or rental profits. The town and Mr. Adams have agreed to share the profits and costs associated with the wall. The town will help Thames Street Landing maintain the pilings and cables in the slip that are used to secure small boats to the wall. The town will also assist in collecting rental fees from boaters, which Mr. Teixeira said Mr. Adams had asked the town to do. In exchange, Thames Street Landing will pay the town $200 per boat per year, according to the agreement. Thames Street is expected to charge boaters $500-$550 for use of the tie-ups, Mr. Teixeira said.

"We decided it would be easier if we have a joint effort — share the cost of maintenance of the area," Mr. Teixeria said.

Thames Street Landing owner Lloyd Adams was unavailable to comment on the agreement.

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