Tisbury voters in special meeting Tuesday
Town meetings will keep Tisbury voters busy for the next two Tuesday nights. A special town meeting on March 25 will be followed by the annual town meeting on April 1, with both scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm in the Tisbury School gymnasium.
A proposed spending plan for the money derived from ferry passenger fees and a request to provide an easement to a telecommunications company that wants to create a new fiber optic network are among the 15 articles that do not ask voters to appropriate tax dollars on the special town meeting warrant.
The special town meeting warrant includes several financial housekeeping items. Requests for town funding will be addressed at the annual town meeting.
The special and annual town meeting warrants include a notation after each article indicating whether the Tisbury's Finance and Advisory Committee (FinCom) recommends or does not recommend an article's passage, and the committee vote in favor or against. After a final review last week, the FinCom voted to recommend all but three of the articles on the special town meeting warrant.
FinCom chairman Muriel Mill said this week that committee members decided not to recommend two proposed zoning bylaw amendments, because they were unclear. The FinCom took no action on an article to grant an easement for a communications switching station on department of public works (DPW) property.
Article seven asks voters to approve adding a sentence to the definition of a detached accessory structure not used for human habitation that would prohibit any plumbing or plumbing fixtures.
FinCom members questioned whether that would prevent a homeowner from putting a water spigot for a hose on the side of a garage or shed for washing the car or watering lawns or gardens, Ms. Mill said.
Article eight, which proposes a definition for the term "attached" in the zoning bylaw, is ambiguous, Ms. Mill said. The wording in the article implies that no matter how many structures are attached to a building, it still will be considered one building if everything is connected.
Embarkation fees bylaw
Tuesday, voters will be asked to approve an embarkation fees bylaw that would establish a process for deciding how best to spend embarkation fee revenues. It is a sizable amount.
Tisbury received $255,168 this fiscal year from the legislatively imposed 50-cent surcharge on one-way ferry passenger tickets. The legislation intended that the money be used to mitigate the effects of ferry service on Tisbury and the other port towns or cities. Those uses include providing harbor services, public safety protection, emergency services, or infrastructure improvements.
Under the terms of the proposed bylaw, the selectmen will appoint a permanent Embarkation Fees Advisory Committee consisting of five members serving for a one-year term, to include a selectman, a FinCom member, one member of the Harbor Management Committee, and two members at-large from the community who do not serve on any other town board or committee.
The embarkation fees advisory committee will hold at least one annual public hearing about proposed expenditures, and make appropriation recommendations to the selectmen for inclusion in a warrant article.
Fiber optics network
An article submitted by the board of the DPW commissioners asks voters to grant an easement to Global Protection Communications System (GPCS) to construct a communication switching station for a fiber optic network on the DPW property at 115 High Point Lane.
GPCS chief operating officer Andrew Nanaa received a cautious response to his proposal for a fiber optic network when he met with up-Island town officials last summer. When he approached Tisbury with his company's request to build a switching station, the public works commissioners reviewed and approved it last fall.
By allowing GPCS to build a 25 x 35 ft. square switching station for a fiber optic network on DPW property, in exchange Tisbury will receive a line for the sewer plant and a line for municipal facilities, DPW director Fred LaPiana explained this week.
The GPCS fiber optic system would enable the town to network computers and communications between municipal departments and facilities, including Tisbury School, and make it possible to connect the DPW and the town's central sewer system network with signals from sewer pump stations. GPCS has the ability to put the infrastructure in place for a fiber optic network with minimal disruption to roads, without trenching, Mr. LaPiana said.
At the start of the meeting the Tisbury planning board plans to present a power point overview of a recently completed draft municipal needs assessment study.
The draft assessment outlines space needs and priorities for various departments, inventories available properties and buildings, and suggests options for comprehensive municipal planning, including using the town hall annex property as the site for a new emergency services facility.
Tuesday night's presentation will reflect comment gathered at a public hearing held on March 12, said planning board co-chairman Henry Stephenson.
In other business voters will be asked to:
*Approve Tisbury's application for membership in the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC), a sister entity formed by Cape Light Compact (CLC), to allow the compact to own power-generation facilities, such as wind turbines, and sell the power at the wholesale level.
*Elect Charles Conroy, Janet Messineo, and Ronald Rose to a fish committee for the regulation of herring fishing at Chappaquonsett Pond and Creek.
*Approve a design for Tashmoo Park created by the Natural Playground Company on town property at the end of Lake Street.
*Increase late fees for failure to license a dog by March 1 to $5 for the first month, and by $5 for each successive month until the license fee is paid.
*Reduce the number of FinCom members from 13 to 11.