West Tisbury library trustees asked the town selectmen this week for permission to cut down nearly 10 trees to make way for construction of the new library late this fall.
The library also needs the money to take the trees down.
On Wednesday trustee Linda Hearn asked the selectmen to put an article on the Nov. 13 special town meeting warrant asking for $6,000 for the tree removal. There are four large trees adjacent to the parking lot, two at the rear of Howes House, several small trees around the property and a large maple at the entrance to the parking lot, which Polly Hill Arboretum executive director Tim Boland called “diseased and dangerous,” according to Mrs. Hearn.
The tree removal is needed to make way for the new parking lot, drainage system and septic system. Many of the trunks are 15 to 18 inches in diameter; the oldest trees are between 40 and 60 years old. The larger trees would cost approximately $800 to remove, Mrs. Hearn said.
Tom Clark, collections and grounds manager at Polly Hill Arboretum and a West Tisbury resident, said at the meeting that the Norway maple trees are invasive. “It would be a point of good stewardship if the trees are removed,” he said.
The selectmen made no decision and scheduled a site visit for next Wednesday before their meeting.
“I have a feeling people will have strong feelings about it,” selectman Richard Knabel said.
Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd said he opposed the tree removal.“I don’t want to see any of the trees cut down,” Mr. Manter said. “Nowhere along the way did we say we were going to be cutting down this many trees.”
“Nowhere along the line did anyone know that,” Mrs. Hearn responded. “If the trees aren’t cut, we’ll have to cut the roots . . . and put some sort of barrier down so the roots don’t grown in there, which I think will severely affect the trees,” she said.
“We won’t know until we try it and then we would have saved the trees,” Mr. Manter replied.
In other business, selectmen heard a complaint from two village residents about a plan to move the Vineyard Transit Authority bus stop closer to the Field Gallery. Paul Garcia, who lives across the street from the proposed stop, urged the selectmen to reconsider the idea.
“It’s incredibly loud in the evening,” said Mr. Garcia, whose bedrooms face the street. “It always sounds like they’re in my driveway. If they were across the driveway it would be intolerable, it really would.”
Bob Gothard, a resident of Music street, agreed.
“It’s going to be a horrendous noise,” he said.
The selectmen said they would set up a meeting in October with VTA leaders and neighbors to discuss the concerns.