Tisbury selectmen approve firehouse parking lot permit proposal

The rear of the Tisbury firehouse provides much sought after parking spaces. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

A new permit system for the parking lot behind the Tisbury firehouse on Beach Road should make it more convenient for the town’s firefighters to scramble to fires rather than for parking spaces.

The Tisbury selectmen approved a proposal for parking permits and rules for the lot, as recommended by town administrator John Bugbee and Fire Chief John Schilling, at a meeting Tuesday.

As Mr. Bugbee pointed out, the fix is short-term, since fire department and emergency medical services personnel will be moving to the new emergency services facility (ESF) on West Spring Street, scheduled for completion in the fall.

Chief Schilling broached the parking issue with the selectmen at a meeting on July 27. He said that use of the lot by seasonal police and traffic officers, EMTs, and the public left firefighters with no place to park at the firehouse when on duty. The selectmen agreed with Mr. Bugbee’s suggestion that it was time to come up with a formal policy governing the fire station parking lot and asked him to do so.

Under the proposal from Mr. Bugbee, approved by the selectmen, eligible fire and emergency services personnel will be issued parking permits for the lot on a first-come, first-served basis. They must apply to Chief Schilling for a permit by September 1.

The selectmen also approved rules for the lot, to be enforced by the Tisbury Police Department. Permit holders may park only one car at a time in the lot, for no longer than three days. No trailers are allowed. Violations could result in a fine or revocation of a pass. They also agreed that Chief Schilling could issue some permits on an emergency basis.

In other business, Mr. Bugbee reported on the emergency services facility (ESF) construction budget, as requested by selectman Tristan Israel at the selectmen’s July 27 meeting.

The total money allocated to the project is $7,380,000, Mr. Bugbee said. Of that, $2,260,863 remains.

Tisbury has paid Seaver Construction, the general contractor, $5,119,136 of a $5.52 million contract to date.

Mr. Bugbee said that about $238,000 of the remaining project funds would be used to buy furniture, communications and office equipment, and an air compressor after the building is completed.

He also said that his figures did not include a contingency fee amount nor an amount the town would receive for liquidated damages. Tisbury’s contract with Seaver Construction included a $1,000 a day penalty for non-completion by the expiration date, which went into effect July 9.

The selectmen voted to approve a suggestion from ESF building committee Joe Tierney that the town start charging Seaver Construction for liquidated damages with July pay requisitions, on the advice of town counsel David Doneski.

In other business, the selectmen briefly discussed options for funding an assistant animal control officer position to help fill the gaps when animal control officer Laurie Clements is unavailable.

Mr. Bugbee had suggested that since the ACO’s budget includes $14,000 for a per-diem employee for overtime or weekend hours, perhaps the position could be expanded to a part-time employee, shared with and partially funded by Oak Bluffs. Ms. Clements suggested that given the uncertainties in Oak Bluffs’s financial picture right now, Tisbury should hold off on making a change.

The selectmen agreed, and Mr. Bugbee said he would get an update from Oak Bluffs.

The selectmen held a brief public hearing and took no action on proposed amendments to the town’s waterways regulations.

The selectmen also approved a fee increase for gas and electrical permits and inspections to $50 per permit fee and $75 per inspection; the appointment of Nicole Myers as a traffic officer and Rayan Natichioni and Jeremie Rogers as special officers until June 30, 2012; and a grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a sewer plant centrifuge and a loan of $154,000 for sewer plant facility improvements.

They also signed off on applications from commercial fishermen Jeffrey Canha, Glen Pachico, David Medeiros, Jason Gale, and John Crocker to fuel at the Tashmoo dock.