Water body regulations punctuate West Tisbury warrant

Volunteer labor for tax relief and a plastic bottle ban will also come before voters.

The Mill Pond will be a starring attracting at the West Tisbury town meeting. — Rich Saltzberg

West Tisbury voters will weigh in on the first regulation to emerge from the Mill Pond Study, the West Tisbury Water Resources Protection Bylaw.

Per the 2019 West Tisbury annual warrant, “The purpose of this bylaw is to protect the water quality and volume of water in the surface water bodies within the Town of West Tisbury by prohibiting the withdrawal of water from surface water bodies for private or commercial use through pumping or other means. The bylaw is intended to prevent changes in the quality and the volume of water due to the withdrawal itself or due to the introduction of nutrients, chemicals, and plant materials caused by contact between the withdrawal devices and the surface water body…”

Anyone found to have broken the bylaw would be subject to a first violation fine of $100, a second violation fine of $200, and a third violation fine of $300. The conservation commission can enforce the bylaw, as can the board of health, the fire department, and the police department, if authorized by the conservation commission.

The bylaw stipulates taking water or temporarily diverting water for firefighting purposes, firefighter training, or to facilitate flood control aren’t considered violations.

West Tisbury voters will also be asked to strengthen, consolidate, and “recodify” the rules that govern historic trails and paths. Voters have the opportunity to adopt a plastic bottle plan, to tighten the standards for inground swimming pools, and to decide whether or not taxpayers can work off their tax bill through volunteer labor. Marijuana will return to the warrant. Voters will have their say on allowing or voting down recreational cannabis cultivation and sales.

Town meeting kicks off at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 9, at the West Tisbury School. Town clerk Tara Whiting said she suspects the meeting would carry over into a second night.