West Tisbury extends rent agreement with Up-Island School District


West Tisbury selectmen last week voted to extend the town’s current lease of the town elementary school to the Up-Island Regional School District for one year, in lieu of negotiating a new agreement.

The district pays a nominal $1 and covers the debt load for repairs and the debt load for the 1996 junior high addition. The debt for the addition will be retired in January. West Tisbury pays 80 percent of the district’s costs while the other member towns, Chilmark and Aquinnah, each pay 20 percent.

The lease discussion centered on increased costs for Chilmark and Aquinnah, were the rent to be increased. The town of West Tisbury’s cost would decrease in the aggregate if the rent were increased since the town would receive the higher rent payment.

Also Wednesday, Philippe Jordi, executive director of the Island Housing Trust (IHT), asked the West Tisbury selectmen for a letter of support for an application to the state Department of Housing and Community Development that could give the affordable housing nonprofit up to $150,000 in tax credits. The IHT would sell the credits to investors. Mr. Jordi said an investor could get as much as a $700 tax credit for a $1,000 investment, depending on the investor’s tax bracket. He said IHT became eligible for the tax credit program as a result of its recognition by the state this past year as a community development corporation. The selectmen unanimously agreed to the letter of support.

After reviewing the town budget proposal for the 2014 fiscal year, selectmen asked town administrator Jennifer Rand to take a closer look at the projections for town building insurance costs, which were made on the previous year’s figures. Selectman Richard Knabel said he thought the new police station and the enlarged library would cost more to insure than their older, smaller buildings. They are both scheduled to open in March. He pointed out that there will be the old police station as well as the new to insure.

In other business, selectmen appointed Susan Sellers to the old police station reuse committee, and Kim Baker was issued a commercial shellfish license. The next selectmen’s meeting is 4:30 pm, January 2.