Chilmark selectmen take up beach, school repairs

During a fast moving meeting, Chilmark selectmen Tuesday heard an update on plans to make repairs to the Squibnocket Beach parking lot, as well as plans for repairs to the Chilmark School.

Selectman Bill Rossi announced a new Squibnocket Beach Committee formed to deal with erosion problems at the beach and oversee repairs to the beach parking lot, and possibly access to nearby Squibnocket Farms.

Zoning board member Chris Murphy, beach committee member Clarissa Allen, Squibnocket Advisory Committee chairman Wendy Weldon, and Mr. Rossi have agreed to serve on the committee.

Mr. Rossi said the Squibnocket Farms homeowners association will appoint one of its members to the committee.

The committee will get to work immediately, and may have something to report to selectmen at their next meeting, on April 16.

Mr. Rossi also gave an update on the committee tackling needed Chilmark School repairs. A report released earlier this year described widespread building deficiencies and extensive repairs needed to the roof, gutter, exterior siding windows, doors, and drainage.

The report by Noblin & Associates of Bridgewater said that performing all the repairs could cost $750,000, or more, when factoring in additional engineering and permitting costs.

Mr. Rossi said the committee is going to first tackle the drainage problem, since the leaking seems to be a contributing factor in several other problems. “It made sense to address the [drainage] problem that is accelerating the other problems: that is the root of all our problems,” he said. “I think we have to invest in a long-term solution.”

Mr. Rossi said that the committee met with engineer Kent Healy and Joe Chapman, vice-president and co-owner of Doyle Construction, both of whom agreed that fixing the drainage problem should come first.