Discussion about the controversial new NStar poles continued this week before the Tisbury selectmen.
Representatives from the power company appeared before the selectmen Tuesday evening for a public hearing on six poles on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. Although the poles have already been installed, the selectmen used the hearing as a forum for airing concerns about the noticeably larger and taller additions to the roadside.
NStar supervisor of electric operations John Dumas said the reason for the considerable increase in size to the poles was to accommodate a double circuit, which requires a certain amount of space between the electrical wires. The double circuit, in turn, is a response to the increased electricity load on the Island.
“It will handle the amount of electricity the Vineyard customers use,” Mr. Dumas said.
The planned use of herbicides on vegetation around the telephone poles was also a subject for discussion. Selectmen said they had received a concerned letter on the matter. NStar community relations representative Jerry McDermott said the plan calls for using selective application of a “watered-down version of Roundup or Weed B Gon.” The spray would be part of a larger management plan involving cutting back vegetation, he said, and would involve a small crew with backpacks and nozzle spray. Selectmen asked that NStar bring the matter before the town board of health as a courtesy, which they agreed to do. Spokesmen also reported that construction on an undersea cable from Falmouth to the Vineyard will begin next month. Once completed, the cable will also help ease the electricity load of the Island.
Selectmen also approved a building permit for American Capital Alliance to begin work on the first phase of a planned solar array project, but plans for phase two remained ambiguous. The second phase is a 60-kilowatt array planned for the site of the town compost pile. But it cannot be permitted until the compost pile is moved to a new site, and any delays may mean that the project would no longer qualify for solar renewable energy credits from the state.
“If we want to do this project we’ve got to do it posthaste,” said Bill Straw, a representative from the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC), the group coordinating the project.
In other business, selectmen voted to approve a new crosswalk on Spring street near the Tisbury school, and appointed Marilyn Yas to a crossing guard position. They also created a committee to work on redesign of the municipal parking lot next to Stop & Shop.