Oak Bluffs gets $1 million in state funding

2
A concept sketch for the improved welcome area and ferry terminal circulation in Oak Bluffs.

The town of Oak Bluffs has received $1 million in state funding to improve the welcoming and circulation area on the town’s North Bluff ferry terminal area, which is the area where the Island Queen and Hy-Line ferries dock.

The funding comes through the state economic development bill, H.4732, passed by the state legislature in July and signed by Gov. Charlie Baker earlier this month.

The plan was created through the streetscape master planning process, supervised by the town planning board. The committee was made up of chairman Brian Packish, Erik Albert, John Bradford, Chuck Sullivan, Christine Sherman Todd, Doug Abdelnour, Duncan Ross, Gail Barmakian, and Craig Lowe.

This is an example of extensive and exhausting public process along with open and inclusive government that honors the value of public participation! Thank you!” was posted on the OBDowntown Facebook page.

In a phone conversation with The Times, Packish lauded the efforts of everyone involved with the project. “A lot of people’s hard work. Our [state representatives], state senator, governor, all the way down to local people who helped conceptualize the plan.”

Going forward, Packish said, the committee will meet with various town departments to continue developing the plan. The next steps will be getting the money moving and to have more public process around the concept the committee developed, Packish said. He doesn’t expect the plan to change too much, considering there was unanimous approval of the plan’s design.

Barmakian similarly praised the efforts of all involved, including state Sen. Julian Cyr and state Rep. Dylan Fernandes. “The funding is not quite a grant, but is one of many state projects in a bond bill which was signed by the governor this month,” she said in an email to The Times. “Thanks to our working together as a town through Streetscape, and constant lobbying with Julian and Dylan, we got it in. I think it is great, but there’s still a lot more work to do to make the project happen, and we still need to be proactive to make sure it happens.”