Tisbury selectmen Tuesday agreed to move forward with a study to consider the establishment of a department of natural resources and also conduct a human resources policy audit.
Selectmen voted to hire Ridley Associates of Harwich to explore the feasibility of creating a natural resources department that would combine the harbor, shellfish, and animal control departments. The goal is to enable those departments to pursue projects jointly and to operate more efficiently in areas where they overlap. Voters at town meeting last spring approved spending up to $5,000 for the study.
The selectmen also approved hiring the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management at UMass Boston to conduct an audit of the town’s personnel policies and make recommendations for updates. The study cost is $4,500.
In a related discussion, town administrator Jay Grande said since town meeting voters also approved spending $40,000 on a comprehensive personnel wage study for regular full-time union and managerial positions, it would be a good time for the town to move forward with that study and to review its overall personnel organizational structure as well.
In other reports, assistant assessor Ann Marie Cywinski recommended setting a tentative date of November 18 for a fiscal year 2015 tax rate classification hearing, pending preliminary certification of the tax rates from the Department of Revenue.
With applications for funding from Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds due October 22, the selectmen discussed possible projects. They agreed to support recommendations for improvements to Owen Park and for upgraded lighting equipment in the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
The selectmen also voted to spend funds already available from CPA funding and Tisbury Waterways for an engineering study of dredging Spring Pond, and to appoint a project team and committee. In addition, they appointed Nancy Gilfoy to the finance and advisory committee.
Selectmen opened their Tuesday night meeting with a tribute in absentia to Le Grenier owner Jean Dupon, who closed his Main Street restaurant in Vineyard Haven last Sunday to enjoy retirement.
“He has been an anchor in the restaurant business in Tisbury for 36 years, and has delighted many residents and visitors with his panache and menu that didn’t change all those years,” selectman Melinda Loberg said. “I know the town will miss him.” The selectmen agreed to send him a letter of appreciation.