Patience wearing thin for Meeting House Way residents

Town says project takes time to design and execute.

Residents of Meeting House Way are upset that paving plans for the road aren't moving as quickly as they'd like. They say dust and the wash-tub feel of the road is an ongoing issue. — George Brennan

A plan to pave Meeting House Way in Edgartown isn’t moving quickly enough for some homeowners. About a dozen people went before the board of selectmen Monday to complain that the $775,000 project, approved by voters at town meeting in 2015, has made little progress.

“We’ve been told over and over and over, it’s going to be done in a couple of weeks,” Janice Casey, a trustee of Meeting House Way, said.

The dirt road is sometimes poorly graded, and kicks up dust as cars drive along it, Ms. Casey said.

Georgiana Greenough, a trustee of Island Grove, said at an association meeting many questions were raised about the project, with few answers to be found.

Selectmen admitted there was some miscommunication on when the project would be done, but promised to keep the lines open by scheduling a progress report for the board’s July 10 meeting.

Stuart Fuller, the town’s highway superintendent, was put on the hot seat by residents who wanted a firm commitment.

“We’ll be nibbling away at it in the near future, and if we can, in the summertime,” he said. Unpredictable weather and the department’s small staff makes it impossible to give a firm timeline, Mr. Fuller said. There are trees that have to be taken down, but the goal is to get the project done by the end of the fall, he said.

“It’s a big project. It has to be engineered. It has to be surveyed,” selectman Michael Donaroma explained to the crowd.

When the road is complete, a bike path will be included at the shoulder, though there is no designated, separate bike path, Mr. Fuller said.

In other business, selectmen put a utility project on hold for 7th Street until Eversource can provide more details about the project to abutters. “I don’t want them cutting any more trees on my property, nor a trench on my line,” neighbor Polly Bassett said.

The board unanimously approved a relocation of a utility pole on South Summer Street, satisfied that it would not affect a neighbor across the street from the project.

At the close of the meeting, selectmen met behind closed doors for an update on the Yellow House with town counsel Ron Rappaport. The board did not return into open session after the update. Voters have authorized the town to pay $3 million for the dilapidated building next to Edgartown Town Hall, or to take it by eminent domain.