Tisbury special meeting Tuesday
Special town meetings are often used for routine procedures, but on Tuesday night Tisbury voters will confront a 21-article special town meeting warrant with a lot of meat.
The warrant includes a request to extend historic district regulations over Main Street in Vineyard Haven, spend $150,000 for a garage to temporarily house a new 40-foot-long fire ladder truck, and approve the layout for a connector road between State and Edgartown-Vineyard Haven roads.
The warrant also includes three separate articles pertaining to the location and construction of a new emergency services facility (ESF). The new building would cost between $3 and $5 million depending on the eventual design and whether the facility houses both the fire department and ambulance services, and possibly a new police station as well.
This week town officials said they would ask that the articles pertaining to the site of the ESF be postponed until the spring after they learned that the preferred location contained water pipes and presented site problems.
One article was a request for $400,000 for architectural services and to pay a project manager despite the fact that voters have not yet approved the new facility.
Two articles offer voters a choice of sites for the facility. The High Point Lane site located between the water tower and Department of Public Works (DPW) building is favored by the FinCom because the land is town-owned. The FinCom did not recommend a second site located between Evelyn Way and Cook Road at the confluence of State Road and Pine Tree Lane because of the land acquisition costs involved with purchasing or taking land by eminent domain.
The look of existing buildings on Main Street is behind an article submitted by petition that would include Vineyard Haven's Main Street business district as part of the Vineyard Haven Historic District. The article is expected to draw protests from local business people.
Town administrator John Bugbee said that the article, if approved, would bring the Main Street business district into the historic district fold, a change that would place many restrictions on Vineyard Haven businesses, which owners said would be too burdensome. Mr. Bugbee said, "Signage, materials used on storefronts, all of those issues, would then have to go through the historic board."
The most time-sensitive article is a request for $150,000 to fund the construction of a pre-engineered garage facility adjacent to the Department of Public Works facility off High Point Lane. The garage is needed for the storage of a new $800,000 ladder truck with a 100-ft. articulating boom due to arrive in early 2006 that will not fit in the town's present fire station.
The estimated cost of the storage facility, a 30 x 45 x 16-foot structure on a cement slab with heating and lighting, already has doubled since quotes submitted a year ago, due to a sharp rise in steel costs. The garage will be used for maintenance and storage of town equipment when the fire truck is moved to a new fire station.
The argument for moving the police department to a new facility revolves mainly around its problematic location in the Water Street parking lot and its close proximity to the Five Corners intersection, where response time is slowed by traffic congestion.
The fire station is unsuitable for repair and the site too small for a larger station. Relatively new at 10 years old, the police station was judged structurally sound.
Although it is not contingent on whether or not the new emergency services facility is built, the connector road system is a critical factor for the High Point Lane site that will impact emergency response time and effectiveness. The article pertaining to it also authorizes the board of public works commissioners to begin negotiations for the acquisition of easements and land.
In other business, voters will be asked to spend $10,000 to fund a survey to assess the condition of the Spring Building, the former pumping station at the Tisbury Water Works. Preservation committee members currently are seeking status for the building on the National Historic Register.
Another article would establish a bylaw to create a Community Preservation Committee. The committee would consist of nine voting members, including four at-large members and one member from the following town boards: the conservation commission, the housing authority, the historical commission, the planning board, and the public works commissioners.
The committee will assess Tisbury's preservation needs and recommend articles to the town meeting for spending CPA funds.
Among the non-spending items, one article asks voters to accept the Military Leave Act to permit the town to pay employees called to active duty the difference between their actual pay and town wages while serving in the armed forces.
Voters also are requested to grant an easement to the Manter Trust over town-owned land in Oak Bluffs for the possible future construction of teacher housing.
Another article requests a vote to end the moratorium for sewage flow allocation changes for properties connected or scheduled to be connected to the sewage treatment plant.
Voters will also be asked to attend to town housekeeping, including the disposal the old avocado green chairs from town hall.
Other spending items include: $56,000 from reserve funds for fiscal year 2005 recycling and refuse operations; $29,850 for the FY2006 off-Island ambulance transport budget; $30,000 from the FY2006 health/life insurance budget to the municipal insurance budget; $300,000 for buying vacant property for aquifer protection; $25,000 for the DPW to purchase diesel fuel and propane in FY2006; $600,000 to develop an emergency replacement well at the Sanborn Station; and $50,000 to supplement the reserve funds for additional fuel and heating oil costs for the town departments in FY2006.