Oak Bluffs selectmen approved a hike in trash disposal fees at their Tuesday meeting, beginning with an increase in trash stickers. The fee for disposing of a barrel of trash will rise from $4.25 to $5.00. The cost of a landfill drop off vehicle sticker will increase from $10 to $25. The vehicle sticker for residents age 60 and over, which is currently free, will now cost $10.
Highway superintendent Richard Combra Jr. said raising fees is always difficult. “We estimate we are running about a $60,000 deficit every year between what we pay to pick up solid waste and what we pay Bruno’s to dispose of it.”
The fee increase takes effect November 1. Stickers purchased before then will be valid for future use.
Also Tuesday, selectmen approved six articles for a November 16 special town meeting. Voters will again decide whether to raise the local room occupancy tax from 4 percent to 6 percent. Voters rejected an identical article at the annual town meeting last April.
Another article would dedicate as a town park the North Bluff land on the ocean side of Seaview Avenue. The vote would affect a complex funding formula of grants and Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for restoration of the clay brick bathhouse near the ferry terminal.
A related measure would authorize an additional $200,000 in CPA money for the restoration. Parks commissioner Nancy Phillips said the project will cost more than the original $462,000 cost estimate.
Also on the warrant is a measure that would raise fees for birth records, marriage certificates, and many other documents handled by the town clerk.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, selectmen voted to send a letter in support of extending Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) moratorium on wind power development while The MVC drafts regulations; approved sending a letter in support of businessman Mark Wallace who wants to create an entertainment venue in the former Dreamland Ballroom, which is now under MVC review; and agreed to continue a federal grant program that provides funding for home repairs and child care to low and moderate income working families.