O.B. agrees to MVRHS funding formula

Town will get 1 percent for hosting the high school.

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The Oak Bluffs select board, seen here at their April 26 meeting, discussed the MVRHS funding formula agreement. — Abigail Rosen

The Oak Bluffs select board approved the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School funding formula agreement at their meeting on Tuesday evening. 

Select board member Brian Packish, who had been participating on behalf of the town in the Island-wide efforts to come to a funding agreement, explained that the town is at 22.89 percent, after a “1 percent discount” for being the host town from the other Island towns. “Nobody knows how much this school may or may not cost,” he said, adding that projects such as this can be upwards of $200 million or $300 million, although current projections hold around $100 million. 

Packish said the agreement will save the town “around probably $6 to $12 million on the cost of the new building,” in addition to allowing the school project to remain eligible for the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) funding.

Packish also commented that in the process of coming to funding terms with the Island towns, he found it “mind-boggling” that Aquinnah will be “paying an Ivy league college tuition for each kid,” due to the per-student formula agreement. 

In other business, select board members approved two permits after two separate public hearings brought to them by Eversource representatives. The electric company was requesting permission to undergo “directional drilling” for two cable projects, one of which provides support for the Oak Bluffs cable project in addition to providing electric service to a private residence. 

The board approved an array of requests, including a business permit and entertainment license for Sarah Brown’s Comfort Food, which will begin to provide takeout from the former Sea Smoke. The restaurant was also approved for dine-in services Fridays and Saturdays, in addition to having a Jazz Brunch Saturday mornings. 

Meanwhile, the board approved the supporting of a land swap of an eight-foot shared use path on Beach Road between the commonwealth and the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank, in addition to approving a $156 donation to the town to help fund the August 19 Fireworks, which has seen a slow trickle of funds for the event.

The Food Truck owner Josh Aronie’s last-minute request for a one-day permit to serve food at the June 26 Little League game was approved, contingent upon approval of the parks department, wastewater department, and board of health. 

Town administrator Deborah Potter said the two benches closest to Healy Square will be removed and repurposed, as they have caused a “chokepoint” in the area. Additionally, Potter updated the board on the parking line painting on Lake Avenue, which will commence Wednesday evening through Thursday. The relining will allow for diagonal parking along Lake Avenue.