Five of the six Island towns are applying for Community Development Block Grants for the 2011 fiscal year, with more applications than ever expected this year from needy residents. At their meeting Tuesday, Aquinnah selectmen praised the block grant program, which this year includes funds for rehabilitating homes and child care assistance for income-eligible residents. Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury are all applying for grants.
Aquinnah housing committee chairman Derrill Bazzy told the selectmen that there are currently 220 applications for 70 available child care assistance grants, and 150 on the wait list for housing rehab grants.
In other business Tuesday, selectmen voted to send a final letter to oyster farmer Roxanne Ackerman, giving her 10 days to clean up debris in Menemsha Pond. The board voted to revoke Ms. Ackerman’s lease for oyster farming in the pond in June. This week selectmen said if she fails to remove debris and other material from the pond within 10 days, the town will do the work and send her the bill for the cost.
“More stuff is showing up all the time; it’s everywhere up there now,” said selectman and board chairman Camille Rose. Ms. Ackerman has had a commercial oyster-growing operation in the pond since 2006.
Reached yesterday at her home in Aquinnah, Ms. Ackerman said she hoped to resolve the dispute with the town and be allowed to continue her oyster farming. “We have to work on this,” she said. “I’m looking forward to continuing the project, and it’s a good project. I’m making a living off of this . . . There’s something missing here and it’s communication, I suppose. It’s easy to clean up.”
Also on Tuedsay, selectmen voted to suspend parking rules at Lobsterville beach after 7 p.m. for the fishing derby. Daytime parking permits will still be required.