Edgartown tackles late construction, trash at fishermen’s depot


Edgartown selectmen Monday worried about a construction project that borders Simpson Lane and the effect it will have when crowds descend on the town for the Memorial Day weekend.

Selectmen had permitted contractor Nick Peters to block part of the narrow street during spring construction, then gave an emergency extension until May 20, but the project has run into delays.

Last week a retaining wall directly abutting the street collapsed. “With last week’s rain, it just undermined and fell,” highway director Stuart Fuller told selectmen. The retaining wall is just a few feet from the new structure. “It could have been a bad disaster,” On Monday, part of the 17-foot wide street was closed with concrete blocks and fencing, to allow for emergency repairs.

“They shouldn’t be down there with equipment blocking the road,” town administrator Pam Dolby said.

Mr. Fuller said he hopes repairs will be finished before the holiday weekend.

Selectmen also moved Monday to clean up the fishermen’s depot near the town’s capped landfill.

Abandoned vessels, abandoned fishing gear, and thefts are a problem, according to harbor master Charlie Blair.

The town issues 15 local fishermen three-year leases on small lots, to store fishing gear and vessels at a nominal cost. Many of the leaseholders attended Monday’s meeting.

Mr. Blair suggested several steps, including installing a locked gate across the road leading to the depot lots, with only leaseholders allowed access. He also suggested selectmen appoint someone to take charge of the area, install security cameras, and seek a funding source to remove junk boats.

“Once somebody dumps something out there, it’s like a magnet,” Mr. Blair said. “When a leaseholder abandons his lease, or doesn’t get renewed, they don’t clean up their stuff.”

Selectmen agreed to adopt Mr. Blair’s recommendations and asked the shellfish committee to nominate someone to take charge of the area.

The board postponed a scheduled public hearing to June 6 for The Greenhouse, a new restaurant planned at 6 South Water Street. The applicant, Patrick Courtney, awaits decisions from other town regulatory boards.