Harbor floats financial boat for Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs harbor was full of boats for the Monster Shark tournament in July. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Oak Bluffs town administrator Bob Whritenour told selectmen Tuesday that the town’s financial picture is improving, with revenue from local services up substantially compared with last year. He said the trend is positive, mostly because of an increase in harbor revenue.

“Local estimated receipts are up through August by 7.9 percent from the previous year,” Mr. Whritenour reported. “This represents a very strong turnaround for the month of August. We can surmise that the additional collections are due to the stretch of good weather right into September.”

Mr. Whritenour added that September revenue to date is on track for a substantial increase over last year.

Also Tuesday, selectmen voted a certificate of recognition and appreciation for the Shearer family, celebrating the 100th birthday of the historic Shearer Cottage. Built in 1912 to host the growing number of African American families visiting the Island, the inn remains a mainstay of the town’s business and cultural communities. The certificate recognizes “one hundred years of extraordinary hospitality and community service.”

Selectmen will present the certificate to the Shearer family at an anniversary celebration at the Shearer Cottage on September 22, from 2 pm to 4 pm.

Chairman Kathy Burton opened the September 11 meeting with a moment of silence and reflection for the victims of the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center towers in New York and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, as well as those who died when one of the planes intended for another target crashed in a Pennsylvania field.

“I couldn’t help but think of the solemn nature of this day,” Ms. Burton said. “I would like to reflect for a moment on the victims who passed that day, their families, and the first responders who unfortunately, are still passing.”