PROVINCETOWN — The Finance Committee approved $40,000 in emergency fund transfers Wednesday to pay for the move of the Artemis off the West End breakwater and its possible demolition.
The defunct fishing vessel has been a thorn in the side of the town since it broke its mooring in a March nor’easter and came to rest on the breakwater.
John Christiansen, the boat's owner, was ordered several times to remove the Artemis and was charged in Orleans District Court for littering when he failed to get it off the rocks that run from the west side of town to Wood End.
The town enlisted a crane service to move the steel-hulled boat off the rocks and it was towed to MacMillan Pier on July 2. Town officials wanted it removed from the breakwater before the Fourth of July.
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The removal cost is $30,000, and demolition will cost about $8,500, Harbormaster Rex McKinsey told the Finance Committee.
The town is seeking restitution to pay for the removal, Town Manager David Panagore said.
“Anything we pay out, we’d seek from the owner,” he said.
Christiansen has a magistrate hearing on the criminal charge July 20 in Orleans District Court, according to Panagore.
Christiansen repaired some holes in the Artemis’ keel and contacted contractors to remove the boat but never hired them, McKinsey told the committee.
The whole process has been a learning experience for the town, Panagore said.
“It’s a long and complicated process," he said, and not at all similar to when a car is abandoned on the side of the road.
In the future, the town plans to be more aggressive when boats that are on their last leg come to town, Panagore said, possibly not even allowing them in the harbor.
— Follow Ethan Genter on Twitter: @EthanGenterCCT