Edgartown’s share of MVC budget may increase

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With the recent influx of development of regional impact (DRI) reviews and legal fees, Edgartown may be looking at paying more for its share of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission’s budget.

Edgartown appointee to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission Ted Rosbeck gave the select board an update on the commission’s busy schedule and its legal fees at a meeting Monday. “I’m not too sure why everyone is shocked that the commission is so busy, because when you expand the checklist, that’s what happens,” Rosbeck said.

The commission finalized a sweeping set of changes to its DRI checklist last year that expanded the scope of its review for Island projects. Among the changes are historic demolition requests, of which the commission has reviewed several this year.

Additionally, the commission’s legal fees are increasing. “There’s some legal [cases] and lawsuits going on that will likely drive legal up a little higher,” Rosbeck said.

According to town administrator James Hagerty, Edgartown’s share of the commission’s budget is the largest of the six Island towns at 41 percent, and would be hit hardest by any increase in legal fees. He said the town’s share is roughly $500,000.

“We’re obviously under the constraints of Prop. 2½. It’s in the operating budget. So when we do the budget hearings in January, February, those decisions have to be made, because the whole town budget can’t increase exponentially. There’s only so many beans in the pot,” he said.

In other business, the select board voted to hold a hearing on Nov. 8 on whether to allow seasonal liquor licenses past their traditional date of Nov. 30.