Town officials in Oak Bluffs may soon face decisions about the fate of the dilapidated Island Theatre, including whether to tear the building down or initiate repairs and how the cost of that work will be funded.

Building inspector Mark Barbadoro came before selectmen Tuesday to update them on his long-running efforts to address concerns about the 101-year-old building, which a structural engineer declared dangerous under the state building code earlier this year. The theatre at the foot of Circuit avenue is owned by the Hall family and has been vacant since 2012.

Town officials have been working with the Halls for about two and a half years to discuss safety concerns and repairs, according to a timeline provided by Mr. Barbadoro. Earlier this year the owners were ordered to begin repairs by Oct. 15, which did not happen. In late October Mr. Barbadoro ordered the Halls to either remove the building or make it safe.

With no action taken, Mr. Barbadoro convened a board of survey, the next step under state law. The board consists of a surveyor, the town fire chief and a disinterested person appointed by the building official, and acts as a check on the building inspector. Mr. Barbadoro appointed Aquinnah town administrator Adam Wilson as the disinterested party.

On Tuesday at Mr. Barbadoro’s request, the selectmen approved his appointment of Falmouth civil engineer Michael McGrath as the board’s surveyor.

Oak Bluffs building inspector has convened a board of survey to conduct a formal inspection. — Mark Lovewell

The board of survey has already completed a walk-through of the theatre, Mr. Barbadoro told the Gazette Wednesday, and is scheduled to issue a recommendation on Friday. If the board agrees with Mr. Barbadoro and recommends action, such as razing the building, Mr. Barbadoro will ask the selectmen to weigh in.

“The board of survey could say I’m wrong and then I don’t have to do anything more,” Mr. Barbadoro told the Gazette. “And I would love that. My first hope is that I’m really mistaken.” But if the board agrees the building is unsafe, then “that’s what I’ll spend my time doing for the next few months,” he said.

The building inspector, who is appointed by selectmen, has the authority to order a building demolished or repaired if the board of survey is in agreement.

“Once the board of survey determines the building is dangerous, in my view I have the right to knock the building down or make it safe,” he told the selectmen Tuesday. Payment is a different issue, with selectmen required to approve funding. If the town has to pay for work, a lien would be placed on the property. Mr. Barbadoro said he doesn’t have a quote about how much work would cost.

Town administrator Robert Whritenour said with the building determined unsafe, and the owners notified and failing to take action, “the question becomes what the town government is empowered to do.”

“We’re at that step right now,” he said. The board of surveyors’ report will come to the selectmen, he said, and there will be a discussion about the next step.

Selectmen emphasized that nothing had been decided and several options are on the table.

“Let me just keep stressing, there are lots of options,” board chairman Gail Barmakian said. She said she wanted town counsel to attend the next meeting to answer questions in an executive session.

“I’d rather have it in public,” selectman Walter Vail said. “The public has been asking about what we’re doing with this. At least some part of it should be discussed in public so the public knows exactly what we’re facing and what we’re doing.”

Board members said they would look into whether the discussion was appropriate for executive session, and said they plan to vote on any action in public session.

In other business Tuesday, the board postponed a vote on a request to close Linda Jean’s restaurant from Jan. 1 to March 16.

Selectmen Greg Coogan said other restaurants have been approved for shorter closures, but two and a half months seemed like a long time. “There was a point, years ago, we tried to limit the amount of closures for the year-round licenses. That meant our clientele wasn’t being served,” he said.

Selectmen said because they’ve granted similar closures in the past, Linda Jean’s would likely be approved this year, but suggested surveying other establishments before granting future closures. “This is kind of cherry-picking a bit, wiping out the weakest months,” Mr. Coogan said.

Owner Marc Hanover did not attend the meeting; selectmen will ask him to explain the request.

“Linda Jean’s is such a popular spot and I hate to see it close for that period of time,” Mr. Vail said. “There’s a lot that goes on here in February and early March, more and more.”

Selectmen also postponed a decision on the board’s appointment to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. Three people expressed interest for the seat: John Breckenridge, the current town appointee, Abe Seiman, who is now on the commission as an elected at-large member, and Susan Desmarais.

Ms. Desmarais and Mr. Breckenridge were both on the ballot in November for at-large seats. At least one and no more than two representatives from each town can be elected to the commission, and two other Oak Bluffs candidates, Fred Hancock and Richard Toole, were elected.

Ms. Desmarais was the only candidate to attend the meeting Tuesday. Selectmen said they wanted to hear from all the candidates and agreed to postpone the decision. Ms. Desmarais said she wouldn’t be able to attend the next meeting and selectmen interviewed her.

“I would submit to you that I get that we’re all busy, at the same time people make time for what’s important and I think a statement could have been sent or something like that,” she said. “I do find it frustrating that I made it a point to be here and it doesn’t feel like due process for me.”

Ms. Desmarais noted that she received more votes than Mr. Breckenridge, both in Oak Bluffs and Islandwide. She said she would work to find a balance “between development that allows for year-round people to live here and make a living and a life, and safeguarding out environment and the Island culture and all the thing that make it special.”

She has served on the town wastewater commission, and the boards of the Island Birth Collective and Family Planning. “I know it’s a big job commitment. I am retired, I have the time and energy to do it,” she said. “I would be more than happy to be your representative on the commission.”

Selectmen reappointed Robert V. Huss as the town representative on the Steamship Authority port council.

They also approved opening dates for shellfishing in Oak Bluffs harbor, with family shellfishing beginning Dec. 10 and commercial fishing on Dec. 12.

Shellfish constable David Grunden said the scallop season has been slower than anticipated. “We still have two commercial divers in Sengie that are going out and getting the limit on a regular basis, and we still have three or four boats going out in the Lagoon,” he said. “They’re not always getting limits but certainly at the price of $25 per pound certainly making a day’s pay.”

Selectmen also expressed pride in town Christmas decorations. Kathy Burton thanked the Gatchell family for the Christmas lights display at their home on County Road, which includes a snow machine this year. The family also takes donations for the Island Food Pantry. “It’s a great sacrifice for themselves, though I know they totally enjoy it.”

Mr. Coogan said the town lights and decorations provided by Crossland Landscape are “better than ever.”

“Once again, we are the best,” he said.