Land for the relocation of the Gay Head Light, costs associated with a study of Menemsha harbor and a list of housekeeping items will come before Aquinnah voters at a special town meeting tonight.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the old town hall. Moderator Michael Hebert will preside over the special session. A quorum of 37 is required. There are 18 articles on the warrant.
Voters will be asked to approve $35,000 from Community Preservation Act funds to purchase a parcel of land for the lighthouse relocation project. The unbuildable lot is just under half an acre, town administrator Adam Wilson said. Mr. Wilson said the parcel is a key component in the planned move of the lighthouse.
“One of the sites being proposed is directly on that parcel and secondly, even if we don’t choose that location, it will be integral as part of the move,” Mr. Wilson said. He added, “We’ll need it to help move the lighthouse.
“As [community preservation committee chairman] Derrill Bazzy pointed out, even if the lighthouse doesn’t end up there, it’s great to have additional land because . . . having more open space is a benefit to the community regardless.”
Other community preservation committee requests include $15,000 for ongoing restoration at the Vanderhoop Homestead. If approved, the money will go toward painting exterior trim and restoration of exterior railings.
Voters will be asked to spend $2,100 to pay a share of administrative costs during a study of Menemsha Pond. Aquinnah, Chilmark and the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah (Gay Head) are exploring dredging options proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Menemsha harbor. Funds became available after Hurricane Sandy to dredge the channel, and at a meeting last year, the Army Corps proposed a dredge schedule. The towns and tribe were asked to research how much material they wanted dredged, and where.
Last Monday the tribe signed a $10,000 contract with the Woods Hole Group to begin a hydrodynamic model of the area, tribe natural resources director Bret Stearns said this week. Meanwhile, Aquinnah and Chilmark are being asked to share adminstrative costs. Mr. Stearns said the data will help determine the location of the dredging, the depth and currents in the channel.
Also on the warrant is a zoning bylaw amendment to clarify language describing the planning board plan review committee’s authority to modify or vary frontage requirements by special permit. In 2011, voters approved an amendment to the townwide district of critical planning concern requiring 200 feet of frontage for all buildable lots regardless of grandfathering. Part of the amendment did not pass muster with the state attorney general, and the new language is intended to create more clarity.
The town library has requests for capital improvements. Voters will be asked to use $13,000 from the buildings and grounds stabilization fund for new cabinet doors, painting and replacing storm windows.
They also will be asked to transfer $40,000 from free cash into the stabilization fund, and spend $20,000 to purchase four new self-contained breathing apparatus and a pack tracker device for the fire department. The new apparatus allows for tracking firefighters in a burning building.
Voters will also be asked to spend:
• $7,200 for new carpets in town hall;
• $1,700 for a prior year public restroom repair bill;
• $1,500 for three picnic tables at the Aquinnah Circle;
• $600 for a computer for the director of public works.