DCR forgives $23,000 of club’s unpaid rent

Wollaston Yacht Club starts anew with clean slate

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION and Recreation is forgiving three-quarters of the back debt owed by a Quincy yacht club renting space from the state on Wollaston Beach.

The Wollaston Yacht Club’s unpaid rent of $30,500 had been a source of friction between the club and the state for years. On a number of occasions, state officials threatened to begin eviction proceedings if the debt wasn’t paid. The Baker administration decided in mid-June to forgive all but $7,500 of the debt and wipe the slate clean.

“Both DCR and the WYC now consider this matter closed,” said DCR spokesman Troy Wall.


The decision comes at a time when DCR is trying to come to terms with a long history of haphazard supervision of state land leases. The new head of the agency, Carol Sanchez, said in June that she intended to take “a friendly tone” in negotiations with leaseholders and “do the best that we can with taxpayer dollars.”

The state leases a section of Wollaston Beach to the private, members-only yacht club for $5,000 a year. In 2006, the club said it was barely making ends meet and stopped making its rent payments. The state did nothing and the debt kept piling up.  By 2011, the club owed the state $30,500.

CommonWealth reported on the lax oversight of leases at the Department of Conservation and Recreation in January 2012, prompting the agency’s chief at the time, Ed Lambert, to initiate a series of reforms, many of which have yet to be implemented. He also said tenants would have to pay the state what they owe. “If you have to pay, you have to pay,” he said. “The rules are the rules.”

The Wollaston Yacht Club responded by making its annual rent payment each of the past four years, but it hasn’t put much of a dent in its back debt. In April, state officials threatened to refer the matter to the attorney general’s office if the debt wasn’t paid in full. Legally, the situation was complicated: Wollaston owns its clubhouse, so it was unclear what could be done with the building if the club was evicted.

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According to the settlement agreement, the Wollaston Yacht Club agreed to pay $7,500 of the $30,500 it owed in back rent and pay its $5,000 rent for this year. The club also agreed that in the future it would not use or occupy state land unless it had paid all its rental fees.

In the settlement agreement, the yacht club and the Department of Conservation and Recreation refer to the deal as a “compromise.” The agreement was signed by Sanchez and Brian Ford and Michael Mazrimas, the president and treasurer of the yacht club.