Tisbury DPW site off Spring Street causes a stir

Photo by Rich Saltzberg

Tisbury Fire Chief John Schilling told selectmen Tuesday that the department of public works lot opposite the Tisbury School is in sad shape, and he expressed frustration that plans to develop the site were stalled.

Chief Schilling said he was contacted by Tisbury School Principal John Custer and asked for permission to let faculty park at the Emergency Services Facility because a function at the American Legion had taken away spots where school staff now often park, as opposed to the DPW lot.

“They are still utilizing the American Legion for staff parking,” Mr. Schilling said. “Why haven’t we finished off the parking lot across from the Tisbury School, which was an integral part of our whole agreement on locating the station [Emergency Center] where it’s located?”

Chief Schilling said in April 2009, town meeting voters appropriated $30,000 to convert the old DPW site into a parking lot for school staff. Mr. Schilling said the account for the parking lot has a little more than half the original sum left, $16,204.

“It appears that all we have done to date is put down some hardener,” he said. “There’s still some debris left there from the old DPW, and frankly it’s really not a safe area for people to access.”

He said that parents have been using the area to drop off and pick up students. Chairman Jonathan Snyder said the site was “explicitly not” a drop-off area for parents.

Mr. Schilling said a police officer now assists parents and children crossing the street because that’s the way it is being utilized.

“I bet you we’ve appropriated more than $30,000 for that parking lot over the years,” Selectman Tristan Israel said; “I don’t get it.”

Mr. Israel said, “This issue has gone on since the old DPW was torn down, and it’s ridiculous that it hasn’t been done [completed].”

Mr. Israel said if the DPW is unable to finish the project, the selectmen should take it over and complete it.

During the public-comment portion of the meeting, Mr. Snyder and Mr. Israel refused to take any questions about the selectmen’s relationship with the DPW. Mr. Snyder said that portion of the meeting was reserved for comments, not questions.

Melinda Loberg was not present but participated in the meeting by speakerphone from Colorado.