Edgartown selectmen sign contract for library funds

The proposed new library will be built on the site of the old Edgartown School. — Photo courtesy of Edgartown Library

Edgartown selectmen signed a contract on Monday with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners that formalizes a $5 million state grant for construction of a new library.

Town meeting voters have authorized borrowing the rest of the money for the $11 million project.

“It’s a big day, it’s going to be fun,” chairman Michael Donaroma said, moments after he signed on the dotted line. Mr. Donaroma also serves as the selectmen’s representative to the library building committee. He estimated demolition of the old Edgartown School, which is the site of the planned library construction, will begin in July of next year.

Also Monday, selectmen discussed a new police, fire, and rescue vessel acquired from federal government surplus property. The federal government will turn over the former U.S. Coast Guard boat at no cost. Town administrator Pam Dolby said an as yet unnamed donor will pay for the complete outfitting of the vessel, which needs motors, rescue equipment, and some electronics.

“Our cost is going to be fuel and maintenance,” Ms. Dolby said. She said the police and fire department have agreed to budget $12,500 each toward the costs for next summer.

Selectmen Art Smadbeck acknowledged the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) decision to hold another public hearing tonight, November 29, on its draft checklist for developments of regional impact. The checklist determines which projects the MVC will review. Selectmen were unsparing in their criticism of the commission’s decision to close the public hearing, and criticized draft language that could let the MVC regulate large homes.

“It may not be perceived that way, but most commissioners really do listen and want to hear what people think,” said Christina Brown, who attended the selectmen’s meeting. Ms. Brown is an elected member of the MVC from Edgartown.