At its Tuesday meeting, the Edgartown select board approved a $200,000 contract with engineering firm Fuss & O’Neill to conduct a study and feasibility assessment regarding the Chappy Ferry’s susceptibility to climate change hazards.
Approved at the spring annual town meeting, the study and assessment will be vital in seeking and securing grants and alternative funding for Chappy Ferry–related capital improvement projects geared toward climate resilience, aligning with the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program.
Town administrator James Hagerty said the study and assessment conducted by Fuss & O’Neill will be focusing specifically on the ferry ramps and the adjacent egress/ingress roads. Hagerty said after interviewing two firms for the contract, the Chappy Ferry steering committee selected Fuss & O’Neill “based on [their] presentation as well as the scope of work they provided.” The steering committee relayed that the engineering firm “could most satisfy the requirements of the town and the requirements of Chappy residents.”
Select board members also approved a propane storage land license requested by AmeriGas.
AmeriGas engineer Tom Hevner told the select board that the company is looking to increase its propane storage at 6 North Line Road, as it will be transferring two 30,000-gallon propane tanks from the existing facility at 7 North Line Road, for a combined bulk of four aboveground 30,000-gallon tanks.
Hevner said additional storage plans included in the request will result in an overall increase in “storage of flammables — up to 280,000 gallons.”
The request comes following a 2021 approval by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, and will require a further application submission to the state fire marshal.
Due to the town’s increased population, now surpassing 5,000 residents, Hagerty told the select board that businesses requiring weights and inspections be performed (such as gas stations), will no longer be free for Edgartown. Hagerty said the town is looking into how to proceed regarding the new charge. He said that following an internal course of action may prove to be “cost-prohibitive” for Edgartown, and therefore he is looking to contracting out the work to the state. Select board members unanimously approved the contract.
In other business, the select board denied a request to block a portion of a public way for construction at 55 Cottage St. before the approved zoning bylaw allows. Edgartown’s bylaws restrict construction before Sept. 15.
“We’ve not allowed anybody else to occupy the public way before [Sept.] 15 so far this year,” said highway superintendent Allan DeBettencourt, suggesting that the rules be the same for the mentioned applicants.
A letter from the applicant sent to the board cited an unforeseen delay in the project. Select board member Arthur Smadbeck inquired as to whether the delay was reported before or after the May 15 end date for construction. DeBettencourt confirmed that the problems with the site had been noted by the applicant within the appropriate time frame, but reiterated its irrelevance: “I just don’t feel it’s the correct time of year to be doing that,” DeBettencourt said, regarding requesting special permission to undergo construction before the bylaws would allow.
The select board unanimously agreed to deny the application.