Edgartown selectmen authorize Chappaquiddick paving project

Edgartown selectmen approved a plan to pave a small turnaround area at the Chappaquiddick Beach Club at their Monday meeting.

Club manager Peter MacRae said the unpaved area off Chappaquiddick Road causes damage to the club’s shuttle vehicle. In the busy summer season, the van makes trips frequent trips around a Chappaquiddick Island circuit shuttling people to and from the beach club.

“We go through a set of tires every year, and a front end every three years,” Mr. MacRae told selectmen. “We’ve used gravel, we’ve used RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement), we’ve used stone, nothing really works.”

While the club is private, the turnaround lies within the town’s right of way.

“It makes sense,” highway superintendent Stuart Fuller said. “It encourages public transportation.”

With the approval of selectmen, the Chappaquiddick Beach Club can now apply to the town conservation commission for the necessary permits.

Also Monday, selectmen accepted the resignation of cemetery superintendent Mike Smith, who intends to retire March 30 after more than 20 years on the job.

“He’s done a great job,” cemetery commissioner Alan Gowell told selectmen. “It’s sometimes a stressful job, and we all appreciate the job he did.”

Mr. Gowell said the commission is already searching for a replacement.

“It’s hard to replace someone who has been around for 20 years,” chairman Art Smadbeck said.