Edgartown selectmen hear Chappy ferry line complaints


Monday, Edgartown selectmen listened to a North Water Street property owner complain about cars in the Chappaquiddick ferry line blocking access to driveways on Simpson Avenue.

Dudley Cannada, who owns 44 and 50 North Water Street, told selectmen the problem is worse this year than previous years.

“We don’t see anyone at the end of the line really policing the line,” Mr. Cannada said. “I’m here to ask if we can have some help in policing the line.”

Police Chief Tony Bettencourt said he adds traffic officers as the ferry line extends back through downtown streets, but this year, the line has been shorter than usual.

Selectmen directed the police chief and highway superintendent to consider new signs, and report back to selectmen. There are already signs asking drivers not to block driveways, and to turn off engines while waiting in line.

Selectman Margaret Serpa said new development on Simpson Avenue created the problem.

“It’s the subdivision of the land, the size of the houses, and the size of the driveways,” Ms. Serpa said.

“I think what you have is something you’re going to have to accept as part of the charm and character of the village,” selectman Michael Donaroma said.

Also Monday, Edgartown selectmen agreed to send warning letters to six local establishments police cited in July for serving underage drinkers.

On July 15, Edgartown Police conducted a compliance check. Al’s Package Store, Sophia’s One Stop Mart, The Kelly House, The Wharf, Sharky’s Cantina, and the Harborview Hotel sold alcohol to minors, according to police.

Town administrator Pam Dolby said the establishments were very cooperative in working with police for better compliance.

“I think it was a wake-up call for everybody,” Ms. Dolby said.

Selectmen singled out the Harborview Hotel for a “strong written warning,” because it was the second time this summer police cited the establishment for a violation.

Selectmen said another violation would result in a report to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, and a hearing to suspend the alcohol license.

Selectmen rejected a proposal from Ben Hall Jr., to open Great Harbor Gourmet and Spirits for a few hours a week. Instead they set an August 21 date for a public hearing to cancel the seasonal retail alcohol sales license. At a previous meeting, Mr. Hall said he was close to agreement with someone to rent and operate the Main Street package store, but had not yet reached a deal. The store has not opened this summer.