West Tisbury selectmen will defend ancient way access, maintain Maley fire pond.


West Tisbury selectmen last week voted to maintain the pond known as “Maley’s Pond” as a fire pond, a water source for a dry hydrant system that terminates at the Howes House on State Road. The pond is south of the Mill Pond on Sweet William Way east of the Maley sculpture field.

Fire chief Manuel Estrella III said the system has dried up and is in need of repair and cannot support the additional demands required of the new enlarged library. Local engineer and Mill Brook historian Kent Healy volunteered to walk the pond and report back on the condition of the pond and a small canal that feeds the pond from its water source, Mill Brook. Mr. Healy said that the canal was probably built to feed cranberry bogs before the pond was dug. He said a pipe could be installed to replace the canal to improve the water flow if necessary.

Mr. Estrella said there is money in the fire department’s hydrant fund that could be used for repairs to the system.

In other business, town administrator Jennifer Rand reported that town counsel will begin legal work to defend the town’s right to access the ancient way, Old Stage Road/Old Coach Road. She said a piece of land known as the flatlands between State and Old County Roads near the old town landfill has had a questionable title history that is being cleared up in Land Court. The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission has offered to cover 75 percent of the legal costs to preserve public access to the road if the town will cover the remaining 25 percent. Selectmen unanimously agreed to cover the remaining 25 percent.

NSTAR completed preliminary work on the town solar panel project that will allow allowing Broadway Electric to proceed with installation of the solar panels on the site of the old town landfill, Ms. Rand said.

Selectmen also agreed to sign a letter to Representative Bill Keating requesting the Social Security Administrative provide services on the Vineyard. The Dukes County Commissioners are requesting support for the request from the Island selectmen of all towns.

And selectmen voted to approve year-round beer and wine applications for State Road and Plain View restaurants in 2014. Lambert’s Cove Inn will apply for a seasonal permit the first of the year, according to Ms. Rand.