West Tisbury selectmen approve first step of library expansion


The West Tisbury selectmen signed a contract last week with Netco, a Lexington property management firm, to oversee the next phase of the effort to design and build a new West Tisbury Free Public Library addition.

The $29,250 contract covers the Netco fees for assistance in the selection of an architect and the submission of an application for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) funding grant, due by January 2011. The MBLC grant, if received, could provide for as much as 60 percent of the total cost of building a new library addition, including $800,000 in land acquisition expenses.

The Friends of the West Tisbury Free Library raised the funds for the contract and will give a gift to the town in the amount of the contract.

Netco is also currently assisting Vineyard Haven in the construction of the emergency services center, library director Beth Kramer told The Times.

“We are right on schedule, and we will not have any problem making the state deadline,” Ms. Kramer said

Steven Carter of West Tisbury asked the selectmen to take whatever steps are possible to curtail the number and practices of motorboat operators anchored in the water off of Lambert’s Cove Beach. Mr. Carter told the selectmen that the previous weekend he counted 40 speedboats there on Saturday and Sunday, and “eight of the boats were tied together, people were drinking alcohol, and swimming ashore.” Mr. Carter said the boats were “parked right up to the buoys, some were inside the buoys.”

Mr. Carter said “none of these people have beach passes,” and “it was a day or day and a half after the beaches were closed because of the bacteria and who knows what these people were dumping off their boats, there is no way to tell. ” He also said that there was a strong smell of diesel fuel noticed by those on the beach.

Town administrator Jennifer Rand told the selectmen that Joe Schroeder, the beach supervisor, told her that “it was an unusual weekend.”

The selectmen explained that beach passes are not required to moor a boat beyond the buoys offshore, and Ms. Rand said that the beach is open to the public up to the low tide line.

Acting Police Chief Dan Rossi told Mr. Carter and the selectmen that he would contact the Massachusetts Environmental Police regarding the complaint.

Environmental Police Sgt. Matt Bass told The Times that he intends to increase his patrol of the Lambert’s Cove Beach area. Mr. Bass explained that boat motors cannot be operated within 300 feet of a bathing beach, and boats must be anchored 75 feet beyond the buoys.

Boat operators are held to the same regulations as the operator of any motorized vehicle and may be asked to take a sobriety test. However, boat operators may have open containers of alcohol onboard. In Massachusetts, one must be 16 years old to operate a motorboat, but there is no need to have a license or take any boating operation courses.

In other business, the selectmen unanimously approved the request of NSTAR to install 80 feet of cable and conduit under Old County Road to provide electricity to a home being built at 686 Old County Road. Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter asked that NSTAR be required to notify town officials when work is to begin so that a town representative could be onsite to ensure that the integrity of the road is maintained.

NSTAR was also granted an additional 90 days to find an alternate location for the whip antenna now on State Road. On February 26, NSTAR was given 90 days to find another location but has not been able to do so. The antenna relays radio signals to notify the company of outages and speed up the repair process.

The selectmen voted unanimously to ask Hermine Hull to convene the first meeting of the Town Hall Art Committee. At last week’s meeting, the selectmen appointed Ms. Hull, Bob Schwartz, and Melissa Breese to the newly formed committee to select and oversee the display of donated artwork.

And, the selectmen unanimously approved the appointment of Beatrice Phear as an associate member of the planning board. Ms. Phear most recently was chairman of the town hall building committee.