Updated 4:15 pm
Work on Boch Park, located at 20 Beach Rd. in Vineyard Haven, next door to the MV Times building, is clearly underway.
Ernie Boch Jr. has proposed building a private park on the vacant piece of land, but for months the plot of waterfront land has been surrounded by chainlink fence with no work going on while the town and Boch representatives worked out the details of moving a sewer easement on the property.
On Monday morning, an excavator began ripping into the ground at the site. Last Wednesday, Boch representatives huddled with Tisbury building inspector Kenneth Barwick on the property.
Barwick could not be reached for comment.
Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande wrote in an email that a trench is being dug to install electrical lines, and that the old sewer line is being removed. “A new dry line is being installed, but not connected,” he wrote. A license agreement between the town and Boch is being finalized by attorneys, Grande wrote. Changes to the plans may be forthcoming, he wrote.
Town leaders have expressed disappointment that Boch plans to build a private park on the land. Boch has cited liability in allowing the public to use it.
“It’s going to be absolutely stunning,” Boch told The Times in a phone conversation Monday. “Hopefully, we’ll be done before Christmas.”
The park will include plantings, cobblestones, grass, and “a really cool boardwalk to the water,” Boch said. “It’s going to be nice.”
The plan is still to have the park be private, and as for a long-term plan, that’s not been set, he said.
A rendering will be available soon to show the public exactly what the plan is, Boch said, though that won’t include the statue to memorialize his father, Ernie Boch Sr., he said.
“The Beach Road beautification has begun,” Boch said. “Beach Road needs beautification. Hopefully, this is the first step, and others will follow. We don’t want to reinvent Beach Road, which has looked the same since the 1950s, we just want to beautify it.”
Updated to include comments from Boch. -Ed.