County to request funds for healthcare building

Towns will take up the request at their annual town meetings.

Dukes County Commissioners voted Wednesday to approve a recommendation by the commission’s building committee to request funds for renovations of the county-owned Vineyard Health Care Access building located at 114 New York Ave. in Oak Bluffs.

Towns will take up the $200,000 request as a warrant article at annual town meetings in the spring.

The building, which houses the program that connects Vineyard residents with healthcare services, is in dire need of upgrades, and has been a topic of discussion among the commission for some time — with commissioners having mulled over whether it would be worth making modifications at all, given its poor state.

Despite previous statements by commissioners that minor renovations would be like putting a “Band-Aid” on the building, it was decided that change of location or replacement property was not currently financially feasible. Commissioners ultimately decided to address the short-term issues in a timely manner.

“There will be no structural changes to the building,” commissioner Doug Ruskin said; it will be “strictly interior work,” and involve adding a drop ceiling, HVAC upgrades, and partitions for privacy. Ruskin said the ultimate goal is to conduct “a complete review” of the county’s buildings, and in the meantime, the renovations will allow a much better environment for the building’s staff. 


  1. As the former Associate County Commissioner for Public Health, please ask the Commissioners to solidify what the requirements will be for applying for the position of County Commissioner for Public Health.

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