The cost to replace the fence that encloses the town cemetery on State Road was the target of a discussion and a couple of Halloween jokes at the West Tisbury selectmen’s meeting Wednesday, October 30, the day before the spooky one.
Town administrator Jennifer Rand said she received a preliminary estimate just shy of $98,000 to replace the mix of picket and wire fencing with wooden picket fencing. New five-inch square posts would be installed where necessary between the existing granite posts.
“I cannot support a $100,000 fence,” selectman Jeffery “Skipper” Manter said. “I was on the fence when it was $60,000 to 70,000. The town has lots of other issues.”
Mr. Manter also said that the project may need historic district commission approval.
Selectmen discussed eliminating the fencing between the old and new sections of the cemetery. “It is not clear to me why we need a fence across the back, which tends to get overgrown,” selectman Richard Knabel said. “Mowing would be easier without a fence.” He also said it is essential to talk to the neighbors about new fencing.
“I think [a new fence] is worth thinking about,” selectman Cynthia Mitchell said. “Does it have to look exactly like the old fence?”
Ms. Mitchell suggested selectmen consider no fence. “We may have to fence off for the neighbors,” she added. In deference to Halloween, she added with a laugh that the issue “screams for a site visit.”
Ms. Rand said she would get a new quote to fence three of the four cemetery sides.
Crosswalk lights needed
Charter School board member Patrick Gregory, who is also town moderator, raised the need for blinking lights at the crosswalks by the Charter School on State Road in West Tisbury.
“Those crosswalks are used much more often than the crosswalk at the West Tisbury School because the older Charter School kids often go across the street to Cronig’s Market during the day,” he said.
The selectmen voted to support the idea and suggested that the Charter School board contact the State highway department about installing the lights.
Mr. Knabel discussed letters he received from the Cape Light Compact and Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC) in response to letters he sent two weeks ago that questioned the financial future of CVEC.
The selectmen voted last December to allow the cooperative to build a photovoltaic array at the town landfill off Old Stage Road. Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Manter asked that a discussion of the letters be postponed until they read the letters, perhaps at the next meeting.
Residents of the Coffins Field subdivision, near the airport, who filed a complaint with the selectmen over what they characterized as excessive noise from barking dogs at Animal Health Care Associates across the West Tisbury-Edgartown Road from the subdivision, asked for an extension of the 60-day time period selectmen granted for the neighbors and Animal Health Care to work out an agreement. Selectmen gave them all the time they need.
Zoning board of appeals (ZBA) chairman Tucker Hubbell read a letter thanking Julie Keefe, retiring ZBA administrator, for her 15 years of service. He said the board hired Claire Harrington as Ms. Keefe’s replacement. The letter thanked Jennifer Rand and the many other town hall employees for their help during the transition.