The town of Aquinnah will begin exploring capital improvement projects with an eye on a new public safety building.
At the board of selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, a vote was taken to create a capital expenditure committee to look at future planning for town expenditures. The creation of the committee comes on the heels of a request from police chief Randhi Belain to start planning for a new public safety building.
“We keep saying we need a new police station,” Mr. Belain said. “If we’re going to be serious about this, let’s start getting serious about it.”
But chairman of the board Beverly Wright said the committee should look at all of the infrastructure needs of the town.
“We should look at everything as a whole first, instead of doing a public safety building and then doing something else,” she said.
Jay Smalley, Aquinnah public works director, said the police station is a priority.
“We have failing pipes,” he said. “That building is clearly below standards right now.”
Selectman Jim Newman said housing all of the public safety services needs to be addressed, including the fire department and ambulance services.
“The firehouse is inadequate in terms of space and [the police station] is inadequate,” Mr. Newman said. “We need to think about all of the emergency services. That’s what we need to look into.”
In other police business, the selectman appointed Rodney Silvia as a special officer. Mr. Silvia retired as a sergeant from the Tisbury police department. Mr. Belain said Mr. Silvia “still wants to be a police officer and he’s looking for a change of pace.”
“Welcome aboard,” Mr. Newman said.
The selectmen also extended the scallop season through April 30. Shellfish constable Chip Vanderhoop said the scallop fleet was only able to be on the water for 41 days this winter because of the cold. He also said older scallops on the west side of Menemsha Pond should be cleaned out before they die to prevent pollution in the scallop beds.
The town also received one bid for relocating the historic Gay Head Light. International Chimney Corporation, which has moved the Sankaty Head Light on Nantucket and moved the Schifter house on Chappaquiddick, was the sole bidder on the project. The selectmen took the bid under advisement and will vote whether to accept it at a later meeting.