The new Steamship Authority ferry will ply the route between Woods Hole and Oak Bluffs beginning next spring, the town selectmen learned this week. Appearing before the board at its meeting Tuesday, Vineyard SSA governor Marc Hanover reported on plans for the ferry Woods Hole, a $40 million hybrid vessel still under construction in Louisiana.

“It will replace the Sankaty,” Mr. Hanover told the selectmen, referring to a freight ferry. “It will make the same number of trips, 10 trips a day. The boat is due in late April, and should be on the run in mid-May.”

Mr. Hanover also said the Hy-Line ferry service has applied to use a larger, faster vessel on their current Hyannis-to-Oak Bluffs route, increasing passenger capacity by 300 people. The company also wants to increase summer trips from Oak Bluffs to Nantucket to three times per day.

Also the Seastreak high-speed ferry service has applied to run a trip from New Bedford to Nantucket daily, with a stop in Oak Bluffs.

The boat line has not made any decisions on the applications for new routes. The issues will be discussed at the monthly board meeting Tuesday. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Oak Bluffs library.

Richard Toole of Oak Bluffs questioned whether the Island could absorb more passengers and vehicles. Mr. Hanover offered a succinct reply.

“Stop building houses,” he said. “We are the problem.”

Also Tuesday, selectmen voted to enter into an energy credit agreement and pay an administrative fee to the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC), which manages construction of municipally-owned solar and wind generation projects.

The complicated agreement would provide a discounted rate for 86,400 kilowatt hours of electricity, through energy credits from a wind power project in Plymouth. CVEC program and administration manager Liz Argo estimated the town would save $3,725 per year over the 20-year agreement. That estimate is based on current energy costs. The discount could be less if retail costs decrease, and could be higher if retail costs increase.

“That’s the downside,” Ms. Argo said. “You’re locking in for 20 years, but you’re getting the dollars immediately.”

In a separate vote, selectmen agreed to pay CVEC one per cent of the savings realized through the agreement, to cover legal and administrative costs.

Selectmen also voted to take a step forward in a plan to spruce up the downtown area. A report produced by the streetscape planning committee outlines improvements for traffic flow, pedestrian accommodations and street furnishings. The board voted to spend $100,000 to prioritize the report’s recommendations and hire consultants for preliminary design and engineering, so the town can apply for state and federal grants to fund the projects. Funding for the preliminary design will come from the town’s Community Development Block Grant program. The grant provides residents with 15-year loans for energy efficient home improvements. The loans do not have to be paid back, unless the owner sells the property. In that case, the loan income goes into a town account which can be used for certain municipal projects.

The board voted to allow the sidewalk on Lake avenue next to the Island Theatre to be closed for at least 10 days, so construction crews can finish roofing the dilapidated structure.

Town officials, including building inspector Mark Barbadoro, continue to receive complaints about noise from the new Barn Bowl and Bistro on Uncas avenue.

Mr. Barbadoro told selectmen the business owners have added soundproofing beyond requirements of their permits.

“It is definitely quieter than it was,” the building inspector said. “The sound consultant has certified the sound meets the DEP regulations and the Oak Bluffs zoning bylaws.”

Mr. Barbardoro said he expects at least one of the homeowners near the bowling alley to appeal the certification to DEP.

Richard Seelig, accompanied by about 15 beach users who attended the meeting, told selectmen the renourishment of Pay Beach with dredged sand has proved to be inadequate. Mr. Seelig brought a large rock and trays of beach sand to demonstrate his complaint that too much sand was distributed on one section of the beach. Several northeast storms have already eroded much of the material, leaving the lower part of the beach separated by a steep wall of sand and exposing large rocks.

“I think the town can do better than this,” he said.

Selectmen also voted to close Vineyard avenue to vehicle traffic for trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 for Halloween. The street will be open only to costumed munchkins and goblins (and their parents) from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., from Dukes County avenue to Norris street.