Tisbury sets meeting date to revisit connector road

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Tisbury will hold a special town meeting on Tuesday, December 10, to ask voters to fund construction of a connector road between State and Edgartown-Vineyard Haven roads. The Tisbury selectmen agreed Tuesday to schedule the meeting, at the request of the board of public works (BPW) commissioners.

Department of Public Works director Fred LaPiana said since he is retiring in December, the BPW wanted to revisit the issue before a new director comes on board.

A proposal to build the Holmes Hole leg of the connector road system failed to get the needed two-thirds majority at town meeting last April. But, voters approved a corresponding ballot question 312-236 at town elections two weeks later.

Since the ballot question did pass, the selectmen had the option to call a special town meeting or one could be requested by petition to reconsider the issue, town clerk Marion Mudge said last spring. Municipal finance director Tim McLean consulted with bond counsel, who said that if a two-thirds majority approved it at another town meeting, the debt exclusion approved on last spring’s ballot question would still be valid.

This time around, Mr. LaPiana said the proposal is to build the entire connector road system, with exits from Evelyn Way, High Point Lane, and Holmes Hole Road. Voters were asked last spring to approve borrowing $1.3 million to fund and construct the Holmes Hole Road leg. Mr. LaPiana said the warrant article for the December 10 special town meeting would propose funding the other legs of the project with Chapter 90 state highway funds.

In department reports, Fire Chief John Schilling and Ambulance coordinator Tracey Jones told the selectmen that Martha’s Vineyard Hospital recently announced it would not, as of January 1, resupply ambulances with supplies used in transporting patients. Ms. Jones estimated it would cost the town about $3,000, from January 2014 through June, money not included in the budget.

Although patients can be billed for the supplies, the town will have to front the money, and any reimbursements would go into the general fund and not to the ambulance department’s budget. The selectmen voted to ask town administrator Jay Grande to write hospital administrators asking them to reconsider the policy and hold off on its implementation until the start of a new fiscal year next July.

Hospital CEO Tim Walsh told The Times that the hospital is making the change, which affects all Island ambulance services, in order to better control ER inventory and billing procedures. He said the hospital would continue to work with ambulance crews.

Shellfish constable Danielle Ewart announced that Lagoon Pond would open to scalloping on November 2. The hours are 7 am to 4 pm.

At the request of emergency management director Chris Cini, the selectmen approved a contract with the state to receive $49,837 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, as reimbursement for repairs made to Owen Park dock due to damage from hurricane Sandy.

In other business, the selectmen approved April 29 for the 2014 annual town meeting and May 13 for town elections; granted a request from business owners to host a Halloween parade on Main Street from 3 to 4 pm; requested $20,000 from the Community Preservation Committee to work on short-term management at Tashmoo Preserve, under Mr. Grande’s oversight; and said they would review the town’s noise bylaw in advance of town meeting next spring.