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Tisbury selectmen press for EMS building siteDiscussion about progress, or rather a lack of progress, by Tisbury's emergency services facility (ESF) committee dominated Tuesday night's selectmen's meeting. Fire Chief John Schilling said he was troubled by Tristan Israel's comments during a recent ESF committee meeting. In Mr. Schilling's view, Mr. Israel, chairman of the selectmen, gave the impression that the selectmen will drop the plans for building a new facility unless the committee chose a site soon.
A lengthy discussion ensued, with the selectmen assuring Mr. Schilling that they were still in favor of the project but want to see it move forward. Selectman Tom Pachico told Mr. Schilling that it made sense to take the time to choose a site carefully. The most likely site options remain one off High Point Lane near the Department of Public Works Building and another off State Road on Evelyn Way, Mr. Schilling said. The committee is close to reaching a consensus, he added.
In other business, the selectmen approved dates for scallop season, as recommended by shellfish constable Derek Cimeno and the shellfish committee. Lagoon Pond will open to family scallopers on Oct. 28-29 and to commercial fishermen on Oct. 30. All other town waters will open on Oct. 14-15 to families and Oct. 16 for commercial fishermen.
Also on the agenda was a presentation from John Wathne, president of Structures North Consulting Engineers, and architect Einhorn Yaffee Prescott. Last year, Tisbury voters agreed to spend $10,000 on a structural study of the town's historical Tashmoo Spring building, which is in dangerous disrepair.
Slides taken by the two men showed that parts of the roof are collapsing, as is some of the brickwork in the tall smokestack and the ceiling inside the building. Mr. Wathne and Mr. Prescott recommended taking some initial emergency measures to stabilize the roof and smokestack first, which they estimated will cost about $24,000 to $31,000. They recommended taking action right away, because the roof is unlikely to last through another winter.
Selectman Denys Wortman then announced that he had received a $25,000 donation from a couple who wish to contribute to the building's preservation anonymously. Selectman Israel suggested using the money towards the emergency repairs, and to put out bids as soon as possible.
Mr. Wathne said it would cost about $7,500 to work up the bid specifications. As a first step, he agreed to put the specs together and to cost out the project's components to make it easier for the selectmen to make funding decision.
In response to a request from the Steamship Authority, the selectmen asked harbormaster Jay Wilbur about possibly moving the moorings for the schooners Shenandoah and Alabama, in anticipation of the arrival of the new and larger ferry, Island Home. Mr. Wilbur said complaints arise on the few days a year when there is a southeast wind, which causes the sailing ships to drift further towards the ferry channel. Selectman Pachico suggested the vessels' mooring chains might be shortened.