And Chilmark selectmen will support county-led effort
Chilmark selectmen Tuesday voted to provide $1,500 to reimburse the county for expenses associated with a county-led effort to maintain the animal shelter that the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) will stop running on May 1.
The selectmen also agreed to support the animal shelter going forward. Selectmen said they plan to write to the county pledging up to $2,000 a year. They also said they would help the county craft a warrant article asking voter support for that purpose for the 2010 annual town meeting.
"This is a good service. The county is showing leadership here, and I want to support it," selectman Warren Doty told his colleagues.
Chairman Frank Fenner noted that county estimates show that expenses will be $24,000 more than expected revenue of $70,000.
Selectman J.B. Riggs Parker noted the county had $100,000 in reserves that could be used to cover the expected shortfall. But Mr. Doty said the reserves were five percent of county budget and represented a prudent reserve and should not be used to offset the animal shelter deficit.
Mr. Parker also expressed concern that town funding might reduce private contributions. Mr. Fenner said the county budget showed half of the expected $70,000 would come from donations and that private donations have continued at historic levels since several Island towns have agreed to participate in funding the shelter.
Mr. Fenner, the town's representative on the county advisory board, said he supports the position of county manager Russell Smith, that town contributions be based on population.
Mr. Fenner said, "The shelter cares for domestic animals - pets - and should be based on the number of people."
In other action, the selectmen agreed to undertake road repairs at Squibnocket Beach, expected to cost about $6,000. The selectmen will meet with the Squibnocket Homeowners Association to apprise them of the board's plans. Mr. Parker excused himself prior to the discussion, noting that a family member who is a contractor is candidate for the repair work. The board also approved Frank LoRusso as a member of the personnel board and named Nina Lombardi assistant town clerk.
Selectmen agreed to continue their meeting to Saturday morning in Menemsha, when they will review space use on town lots at the harbor to provide more storage for shellfish department gear.
Finally, the selectmen convened in executive session to consider a land acquisition matter.