A large dredging project is underway in Edgartown this week, with big piles of sand slowly on the move from Edgartown Great Pond to Fuller street beach.
On Monday, the selectmen signed off on the dredge committee’s request to rent an excavator and move about 1,400 cubic yards of sand between the two bodies of water. The sand needed to be dredged as soon as possible, dredge committee members said, because Edgartown Great Pond has a dredging deadline of April 1 in order to protect nesting shorebirds.
The sand is being temporarily stored at the right fork of South Beach until the town is ready to move it to Fuller street beach, which has been diminished by storms and erosion.
Expenses for the project are estimated at $19,450 to rent an excavator and move the sand. Town highway superintendent Stuart Fuller is helping with the project.
In Oak Bluffs, there have been concerns about the quality of dredged sand placed on Inkwell Beach. Shellfish constable Paul Bagnall said the Edgartown project will not have the same problem; dredge committee members have noted that the Great Pond sand is pristine.
Selectmen also approved two new aquaculture licenses for oyster farms in the middle flats north of Eel Pond.
Joseph Smith and his son Ryan Smith have applied separately for two aquaculture licenses to grow adult oysters in bottom cages in 15 feet of water about a mile off land. Each application is for two acres of water.
In January, selectmen approved the first two aquaculture licenses in that area for Roy and Jeremy Scheffer.
Mr. Bagnall said the newest proposals are similar to the Scheffers’ plans, and there will not be any barges in the water. The only visible part of the operation will be buoys, he said, and sometimes there will be boats at the locations.
The shellfish committee has voted to have 10 aquaculture operations in the middle flats area. The farms have to be opened on areas with a non-productive sea floor.
The conservation commission and the state will also have to sign off on the Smiths’ plans.
“I think it’s a good sign that these people want to expand,” Mr. Bagnall said. “It’s the way of the future.”
Selectmen also approved two annual events put on by the Edgartown Board of Trade: Pink & Green weekend May 9 through May 11, and the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival on October 16 to 19.
Town administrator Pamela Dolby said the town is looking into allowing resident-owned businesses to apply for a one-year parking permit at the town-owned Dark Woods parking lot. The town will rent four 60-foot parking spaces and six 20-foot parking spaces for one year, Mrs. Dolby said. The 60-foot spaces would be $650 a year and the smaller spaces $350 a year.
Mrs. Dolby said the deadline for applications will be April 15, and no other commercial vehicles will be allowed to park in the lot for any length of time. She said the parking rentals will be on a trial basis and may be adjusted in the future.
The selectmen opened bids for providing seasonal plantings from Memorial Day to Nov. 23. There was one bid for $15,950 from Donaroma’s Nursery. Selectmen voted 2-0 to take the bid under advisement. Selectman Michael Donaroma recused himself from this discussion and vote.