Up-Island schools look for repair money

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Chilmark School, shown here, and West Tisbury School both look for funds for repairs. — MV Times

Chilmark School and West Tisbury School both said they were looking for ways to pay for repairs during Tuesday night’s Up-Island Regional School District committee meeting.

Susan Stevens, Chilmark School principal, said Maciel & Sons Inc. came and fixed the school’s septic system after several toilets overflowed over the weekend of Feb. 20, although a bill has not been sent yet.

Committee member Robert Lionette asked whether there were long-term concerns about the septic system, and Stevens said she had none at this time. 

Committee member Skipper Manter was concerned about how to pay for the fixes. “I am sure Mr. Maciel’s bill won’t be cheap. Where are we getting the money to pay for his services?” Manter asked, anticipating a $10,000 bill to come through. 

“I do have some money in my maintenance line,” Stevens said. 

Mark Friedman, Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools business administrator, also said the money can be used from other lines, such as painting. However, since the bill total is still unknown, the school and the committee should just wait for now. 

Mary Boyd, the assistant principal at West Tisbury School, said her school also had a septic system issue relating to the toilets, although it was not all of them. Boyd said that pumping was done to partly fix it. However, through pumping out the water, it was discovered that the tank was “settling.” “This is an unanticipated expense that we did not think was coming up,” Boyd said. 

The West Tisbury School had one more issue: its clocks, which are running four hours late. There were fixes made, but Boyd said it was uncertain whether these would need to be replaced. “That’s a potential fiscal expense,” Boyd said. 

Auditor Chris Rogers presented to the committee the “Up-Island Regional School District 2020 audit exit conference.” Overall, Rogers said the district did a good job, and has been on pace with its financial and managerial activities. There was also time for the board and others to ask questions.