West Tisbury selectmen put Edgartown Road path funding on meeting warrant
After questioning the $190,000 price tag, the West Tisbury selectmen agreed to include the request for funds for a proposed new path along Edgartown Road on the warrant for the special town meeting to be held Nov. 28.
Selectman Jeffrey "Skipper" Manter announced at last week's selectmen's meeting that, although he had raised questions about the cost, he was now comfortable with the proposal for a path extension from the Youth Hostel to the West Tisbury Police Station. "It makes sense to tie in to the bike path at the curve behind the Youth Hostel," he said.
Selectman Glenn Hearn said the cost of the path was large enough to affect the tax rate. He questioned whether town residents would want to spend about half of the town's $400,000 in "free cash" for the path. He also said the finance and capital improvements committees should have a say on the proposal before sending it to the voters.
William Haynes, the Paths Beside the Roadway chairman who attended the meeting at the selectmen's request, explained why the new path should be put before voters now. He said his committee is ready for its next project after recently finishing a path on State Road, and he said it takes a great deal of time to get state approvals.
If the project is approved in November, Mr. Haynes said there would be a short window for construction next spring after the last freeze and before Memorial Day. But, he said he believed the path could be completed by then. "I would like to see it go on the warrant now," Mr. Haynes said. "If it fails, it fails."
Selectman Chairman John Early said, "It's up to the voters to see if they want it. Everything is in order except it's a big chunk of change that could affect the tax rate."
The total cost would include about $131,000 for the black top, $20,000 for a retaining wall and $750 for each tree that would be cut down, as well as for police costs and contingencies.
The selectmen and Mr. Haynes were not happy about another path request, this one from the Land Bank Commission, which wrote to ask the town to pay for paving its path in North Tisbury because the commission cannot afford to do it.
"I'm not happy with that letter at all," Mr. Haynes said.
Mr. Manter said he thought the Land Bank Commission is supposed to spend a certain amount in each town.
Mr. Hearn, who is the town's Land Bank commissioner, suggested the other selectmen send the Land Bank commissioners a letter reflecting their strong feelings about the issue.
The selectmen also increased a requested appropriation for paving the library parking lot from $25,000 to $30,000. They approved a total of 14 articles for the special town meeting warrant.