Tisbury selectmen talk trash
Boch Park, the animal control facility, trash, and town roads dominated discussion at the Tisbury selectmen's meeting Tuesday night at the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
Selectman Tristan Israel provided an update on the status of the former Entwhistle building and property on Beach Road near Five Corners owned by the Boch family. Mr. Israel said that Ernie Boch Jr. has been working with the selectmen over the last three to four years to come up with a mutually agreed-upon arrangement where the town would rent the building from him and then sublease it to a non-profit organization or marine-related business to cover the cost of the taxes and rent. As part of the deal, the town would have use of the rest of the property at no cost.
Unfortunately, according to Mr. Israel, such an arrangement did not pan out. "We want to thank Mr. Boch for trying to work with the town - we have to put closure to it," he said. In answer to questions from many in the community about the property's status, Mr. Israel added, "At this point there is nothing going on with Boch Park. We have really tried. We hope something good will happen on that property."
Mr. Israel said in a follow-up call yesterday that the town's interest in the property, which is not zoned for a parking lot, had to do with making it available for town events, providing public water access, and enhancing the waterfront. Unfortunately, there were too many complicated legal issues involved, Mr. Israel said.
In other business at Tuesday's meeting, the selectmen agreed to sign a reserve fund transfer request for $2,000 for animal control officer Laurie Clements to fund design plans for adding office space at the dog pound building. Building inspector Ken Barwick said that once plans are drawn up, he and Ms. Clements will be able to determine the project's cost in order to put together a warrant article requesting funds at next spring's annual town meeting.
Department of public works director Fred LaPiana questioned whether it was wise to add onto the building, because it is located on land near the DPW that may be critical to future expansion of the town's sewage leaching field. However, he agreed it might be possible to move the building later if necessary.
Since West Tisbury pays to use the facility part-time, Mr. Israel suggested Ms. Clements set up a meeting with West Tisbury town officials to discuss whether they would be willing to contribute to the cost of the expansion.
Turning to the subject of trash, Mr. LaPiana said the Edgartown Financial Advisory Committee is proposing that Tisbury and Oak Bluffs contribute $2,500 each to the cost of a consultant's study as a first step in developing a plan for an Island-wide consolidated waste facility.
Tisbury and Oak Bluffs pulled out of the Martha's Vineyard Refuse Disposal District (MVRDD), a regional entity that handles refuse services for Edgartown, Chilmark, West Tisbury, and Aquinnah, in 1993. The two towns operate a municipal refuse service in partnership that utilizes a transfer station in Oak Bluffs.
In June, the MVRDD submitted a bid for the transfer station operations contract, which offered the possibility of an Island-wide refuse district. However, the Oak Bluffs and Tisbury selectmen voted to award the contract to Bruno's Roll-Off to allow them more time to explore the issues of a regional trash management plan with the other towns.
Although the Tisbury selectmen agreed they would contribute to the cost of the study, Selectman Pachico said that Tisbury is not part of the MVRDD and cannot be expected to keep "chipping in money."
Mr. LaPiana also recommended to the selectmen that Tisbury use its allocation of hours for the services of Dukes County engineer Stephen Berlucchi to work on the process of getting some of the town's local roads redesignated as state roads. By doing so, the roads would be eligible for the state's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) funds, which could amount to between $150,000 and $200,000 for road projects, Mr. LaPiana said. The selectmen voted to use the county engineering hours left this year towards the road redesignation effort.
In department reports, Fire Chief John Schilling said that Tisbury firefighters put out two brush fires over the past few weeks. He cautioned that fire danger is high right now because of dry conditions on the Island.
One fire occurred in overgrown brush on fire lanes parallel to Franklin Terrace, additionally fueled by construction debris including mattresses, pallets, and tires. Chief Schilling expressed his gratitude to the West Tisbury fire department for providing mutual assistance.
He said the fire likely resulted from firecrackers, reportedly set off earlier by some kids. Chief Schilling appealed to the public to use common sense in avoiding activities that might start a fire and to remind their children to do the same.
In other fire department news, Chief Schilling said that Assistant Chief James J. Rogers passed the Massachusetts Fire Inspector's exam and is the first one to be certified on the Island.
The chief also announced that Tisbury's Oil Spill Response Trailer, provided at no cost by the state to Island towns, would be delivered on Wednesday in Oak Bluffs. The state also provides free training on use of the trailer's equipment, which is scheduled for Oct. 13.
Continuing discussion from previous meetings, the selectmen scheduled a public hearing on September 18 to discuss raising parking fines. They also agreed that Mr. Pachico would organize a fee schedule for commercial lease of town property off Holmes Hole Road.
Mr. Israel proposed amending the Park and Ride lot regulations again, to require companies that park more than one commercial vehicle under 20 feet long in the lot be charged a commercial fee for each additional vehicle. Mr. Pachico, who is also the town's appointed port council member, said the change would require approval by the Steamship Authority and Vineyard Transit Authority, a task he delegated to Mr. Israel.