Tisbury’s new emergency services facility to open soon


After a long wait, Tisbury’s fire, ambulance, and emergency management services departments expect to move into the town’s new $5.5-million emergency services facility (ESF) by April 1.

ESF building committee chairman Joe Tierney announced the news at the Tisbury selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night. The tireless Mr. Tierney said the punch list work continues but is dwindling down.

Seaver Construction built the approximately 18,500-square-foot ESF on West Spring Street across from Tisbury School. The contract completion date for the 13-month project was June 4, 2011. Delays that included a botched concrete floor and weatherproofing deficiencies helped push that date back.

Despite several setbacks, town officials at Tuesday’s meeting said the end result would be a quality building and come in under budget.

Town administrator John Bugbee took the opportunity to publicly respond to a a story published in the February 17 Vineyard Gazette that described the building as troubled and over budget.

“The building is not ‘troubled,'” Mr. Bugbee said. “What we’re going through is not unusual for any building of this size, and that’s backed up by town counsel, who’s been doing this work for 20, 25 years.”

Fire chief John Schilling said that the total budget also includes funds for improved safety between the ESF and the Tisbury School and the relocation of the Tisbury town hall annex operations.

“We did allocate adequate contingencies to cover these change orders, the cost overruns, and we fully anticipate not spending all of those contingencies,” Chief Schilling said. “So I think we’re doing okay. Are we behind? We’re behind; there’s no question about it. But from a financial standpoint, we have no anticipation of coming before the board asking for any additional funds to finish this project.”

Selectmen also heard from Noreen Baker, organizer of the Down-Island Farmers and Artisans Market. Ms. Baker said rather than open during the day on Tuesday the market located at Tisbury Wharf would be open on Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.

Frank Zoll, a representative from Massachusetts Farm Wineries, accompanied Ms. Baker. He asked selectmen to approve the sale of farm-produced wines at the market. Selectmen said any such sale would require approval at town meeting.

In other business, the selectmen held a public hearing regarding a barking dog complaint by Nick and Paulette Mosey about barking dogs owned by their neighbor Marcia Weir on West Spring Street.

Mr. Mosey said two of Ms. Weir’s Shelties bark obsessively, for an hour to two hours at a time, which is in violation of a town bylaw that specifies penalties for complaints of dogs that bark for more than 10 minutes. The selectmen agreed to issue a warning letter to Ms. Weir for a first offense of the barking bylaw. Subsequent offenses may incur fines.

Selectmen voted to appoint Mary Ellen Larsen as elections warden to replace Barbara Silvia, who died in December. They also approved town moderator Deborah Medders as a substitute for Ms. Larsen at the March 6 primary.

Prior to their regular meeting, the selectmen met jointly with the Tisbury Finance and Advisory Committee. They discussed town department budgets and articles the selectmen plan to put on the annual town meeting warrant.