Tisbury and Oak Bluffs have signed an agreement to send their solid waste to a New Bedford facility.
The Oak Bluffs selectmen Tuesday gave the go-ahead for a 10-year agreement with the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District for the two towns to dispose of solid waste. Tisbury selectmen approved the proposal two weeks earlier.
“The whole reasoning behind this is that right now we’re looking down the barrel at some pretty serious increases in costs for solid waste management,” Oak Bluffs town administrator Robert Whritenour told the selectmen. “What this contract does is stabilize those costs.”
Mr. Whritenour said the towns’ current agreement to take trash off-Island to the SEMASS facility in Rochester was set to expire. The new contract, which will be in place for 10 years starting in late 2012, does not require the towns to contribute a minimum amount of tonnage.
Tisbury department of public works director Fred LaPiana told the Tisbury selectmen that the new agreement enhanced a longstanding proposal to barge trash to New Bedford.
The Steamship Authority recently completed a feasibility study for freight service between New Bedford and Vineyard Haven that found it would not be cost effective.
While the other four Island towns are part of the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse District, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury operate their own district. Mr. Whritenour said the two towns combined produce about 16,000 tons of waste a year.
Mr. Whritenour said under the new agreement, the towns will be charged $59 a ton, compared with what could be up to $72 a ton in the future with other companies. The cost is currently in the low $60-per-ton range, he said.
“Our strong feeling is that in 2015 when all these contracts come up, it’s going to cause a fundamental shift in the overall cost of solid waste management,” Mr. Whritenour said.
“We’re very thankful to the mayor of New Bedford, Scott Lang at the time, and now [Mayor Jonathan Mitchell], who have worked with us in this endeavor,” Mr. LaPiana told the Tisbury selectmen.
In other Oak Bluffs business, the selectmen approved the second annual Race to the Rink road race on July 14, and a run/walk for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys’ and Girls’ Club and the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks on July 29.
Two new businesses were approved and set to open this summer: the women’s shoe store Foot Fetish at 55 Circuit avenue, and The Dog House, which will sell hot dogs, ice cream and other food.
The selectmen also voted to put a stop sign on Everett avenue, reverse an earlier decision to add diagonal parking on Tuckernuck avenue, and to extend paid parking hours downtown to 8 p.m., excluding Kennebec avenue.