Tisbury selectmen approve Lake Street dock fueling


Tisbury selectmen voted to approve regulations for fueling at the Lake Street dock at Tashmoo at the conclusion of a public hearing that occurred during their meeting Tuesday night.

The fueling regulations will allow a commercial fuel dealer in a truck to fuel commercial fishing vessels at the dock.

The new rules will be added as an amendment to Tisbury’s waterways regulations, pending completion of a final document with revisions from Tuesday’s hearing and review by town counsel.

Town administrator John Bugbee said town counsel is researching the question of insurance liability coverage in the event of a fuel spill.

The selectmen agreed to issue one fuel vendor permit annually. For several years, Jay McMann of Island Fuel has delivered fuel at the dock. The selectmen said they would issue a request for proposals and select a commercial fuel vendor on the basis of price and eligibility criteria.

The selectmen also set a limit of five commercial vessel permits at an annual fee of $10, plus a $25 application fee.

The fuel vendor will pay an annual $20 business tax and a fee to the town of five-cents per gallon dispensed. The funds will be used for improvements and repair to the landing, environmental cleanup at Tashmoo, and other landing-related expenses.

The selectmen also limited refueling at the dock to three weekdays within a seven-day period, between the hours of 5-7 am, to minimize noise in the neighborhood and interference of public use of the dock.

A containment boom and absorbent materials will be stored and readily available at the dock. The selectmen added a requirement that the harbormaster, shellfish constable, fuel vendor, and commercial fishermen conduct a yearly drill to practice deploying the containment boom.

The selectmen’s decision on the fueling regulations concluded a long process. Last October, they asked the Tashmoo Management Committee (TMC) and harbor management committee (HMC) to make recommendations on whether to allow fueling of boats at town docks, piers, and landings.

Although both committees recommended against it, the selectmen voted at a public hearing on May 4 to allow commercial fishermen to refuel at the Lake Street landing, using a licensed professional commercial delivery service. The selectmen said it would be safer than having commercial vessels refueled from hand-held containers.

Members of TMC and HMC met with a group of Tisbury commercial fishermen on May 18 and collaborated on the set of draft regulations presented to the selectmen this week.

Five TMC members and several commercial fishermen attended Tuesday’s hearing and weighed in on the selectmen’s discussion. Selectman chairman Jeff Kristal thanked the two harbor committees and commercial fishermen for working together.