The construction of a road connecting State and Edgartown-Vineyard Haven roads and a garage to temporarily house the town's new ladder truck top an atypically weighty list of requests facing voters at the Tisbury special town meeting Tuesday night.
But the 21-article warrant, which includes approximately $1.5 million dollars in funding requests and a smattering of non-spending items, is set for some paring on town meeting floor. Four articles related to the proposed multi-million-dollar emergency services facility most likely will be postponed, eliminating almost $500,000 in spending requests.
In separate articles, voters were set to choose between two sites proposed by a town study committee for the facility's permanent location. But town fire chief John Schilling said this week that water mains discovered at one of the sites would prohibit construction and more study is needed.
"It looks like we don't have the room that we originally thought, and additionally there are some grading issues to be looked at," Mr. Schilling told the Tisbury selectmen at their meeting Tuesday. "We're discovering that we don't have a real handle on the costs."
Two other articles related to the proposed facility are also expected to be put on hold until the annual town meeting in April. The first asks voters to approve $400,000 to hire a project manager and a design firm; the other asks for $60,000 to relocate a portion of the access road leading to the department of public works facility on High Point Lane to make room for the new complex.
Instead, voters will turn their attention to the connector road, spending $600,000 for a new emergency replacement well at the Sanborn Station and a handful of housekeeping measures.
Moderator Deborah Medders will take up the gavel at 7:30 p.m. at the Tisbury School gymnasium.
Perhaps the most controversial topic of the evening, the creation of a road linking State and Edgartown-Vineyard Haven roads should garner plenty of discussion. After a summer examining and surveying the proposed route, planning board members will present a final vision of the road's design for approval. The road would cut northwest off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road and split into multiple branches, filtering onto State Road at three different points: Nobnocket Road, High Point Lane and Evelyn Way.
"The vast amount of it is town-owned land, which is an attractive element to it," planning board member L. Anthony Peak said this week. "We have worked to try to keep it from impacting as much as possible the existing neighborhoods."
Mr. Peak said funding for road construction will not be determined until next year, but estimated the project could cost upward of $1 million dollars, depending on the amount of land that needs to be cleared.
The largest spending request comes from the water commission, which is asking for $600,000 to pay for an emergency replacement well. The current well has a deficient filter and is pumping sand.
Voters will be asked to approve $150,000 to build a garage facility at the public works site to house the new ladder truck, which is due to arrive on the Vineyard sometime this winter. The truck is too long for the current fire station and has no place to be stored. According to Mr. Schilling, the garage would house the ladder truck until a permanent facility was built, after which it could be used to store other town vehicles.
Another article asks for $10,000 for a survey to assess the condition of the historic Tashmoo Spring building on West Spring street, the hub of the first water works system on the Island. For years, the town has sought ways to save and restore the brick building which is quickly deteriorating. The Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust had considered acquiring the old building but decided against it.
Other spending requests include $300,000 to buy land for aquifer protection; $50,000 to supplement the reserve fund budget to provide additional fuel and heating oil for town departments, and $25,000 for additional fuel costs incurred by the public works department.
Several non-spending articles will be taken up as well.
After adopting the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in April, the town now must approve a bylaw to establish a committee charged with directing the allocation of CPA funds. Voters will also be asked to accept the provisions of the Military Leave Act which would permit the town to create a bylaw enabling payment to town employees called into active duty. The amount would reflect the difference between the employee's actual duty pay and town wages.
The department of public works is also recommending the town vote to end the moratorium for sewage flow allocation for properties tied into the centralized wastewater systems, effective March 1, 2006.
Voters will also be asked to consider including the Main street business district in the town historic district. Currently, the historic district extends just to the west and north of Main street.
The article was submitted by petition and is expected to generate debate, primarily by those Main street business owners the shift would most affect.