West Tisbury has finally won permission from the state to establish a school zone on the stretch of State Road around the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, the selectmen announced last week.

The zone will include a speed limit of 20 miles per hour while school is in session, plus installation of a crosswalk, wheelchair ramps and flashing school zone signs.

Town administrator Jennifer Rand said the town has struggled for years to obtain the permit from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Ms. Rand said she was inspired to renew the effort after receiving an email a year ago from a charter school high school student.

“Drivers go in front of the school extremely fast, which makes for scary scenarios when high school students like myself cross the street to go to Cronig’s, Fella’s, or Conroy’s for lunch,” wrote Keith Chatinover wrote in the email.

“To have a kid at the school take the time to call MassDOT to find out what needs to be done, that made me want to work just as hard,” Ms. Rand said.

Since work is not allowed on state highways between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the school zone will likely not be ready until after school starts next September.

In other business at their regular meeting last week, selectmen voted to join other Island towns in a tort lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.

Selectman Skip Manter was hesitant at first. “I’m reluctant. It looks to me like a payday for attorneys and not for the towns,” he said.

He added that he thought more attention should go toward alcohol abuse, which he said is a more serious affliction on the Island.

Selectman Cynthia Mitchell strongly disagreed, citing the heavy toll of opioid use on and off-Island and the success of lawsuits against tobacco companies over the years.

“This is an opportunity to join a significant lawsuit,” Mrs. Mitchell said. “We should be ashamed if we don’t sign up for it.”

In the end the vote was unanimous.

The meeting began with the promotion of West Tisbury police detective Matthew Gebo to sergeant.

“He’s a great example to the community as well as to the leadership we’re trying to keep in place,” police chief Matt Mincone told the selectmen.

In the annual board reorganization, Mrs. Mitchell will take over as chairman and Kent Healy will become vice-chairman.