Owners of the Welles property in West Tisbury have paid back taxes and fees to avoid seizure of their property by the town, selectmen announced this week.

“We left a window open for possible redemption and, lo and behold, they were able to come up with the money,” chairman Cynthia Mitchell said.

The town had conditionally taken ownership of the property at 1034 State Road after taxes went unpaid and the owners could not be contacted for more than two years.

The town had placed a lien on the property in March 2017 due to unpaid taxes for fiscal year 2016. Town attorneys later won a judgment in land court granting the town permission to take ownership of the property.

On advice of town counsel, selectmen decided to give the owners a year to pay the back taxes with interest and fees. Town treasurer Kathy Logue said more than $18,000 was owed.

The house is located next to the town library across from Alley’s General Store. It dates to the mid-1700s and once belonged to Nathan Mayhew, founder of what is now Alley’s, according to the Massachusetts historical commission records. The house sits on one acre and is assessed at $544,800 according to town records.

Owners are the 1034 State Road Nominee trust with Donald Roderick Welles 3rd and Allison Bryant Hammond as trustees.

On Wednesday selectmen voted unanimously to vacate the final judgment from the tax lien case that granted the property to the town.

“It’s a happy ending,” Mrs. Mitchell said.

“We’re very thankful to have this outcome,” town administrator Jennifer Rand said.

In other business, selectmen discussed strategies for maintaining the affordability of a property at 57 Rustling Oaks Road. The property is deed restricted for 20 years as affordable, but is in danger of foreclosure, housing committee member Larry Schubert told selectmen. Under the covenant, if the property is foreclosed on, the deed restriction will be wiped out.

Selectmen also declared August 6 as Dionis Coffin Riggs Poetry Day in honor of the West Tisbury poet who among other things founded the Cleaveland House Poets writers’ group. Ms. Riggs was a prolific poet who formerly wrote the West Tisbury column for the Gazette.

Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd recalled that her talents went beyond poetry.

“I must say Dionis always had the best Halloween treats because she would make homemade doughnuts,” he said.

Selectmen also appointed Mike Bellisimo to represent the town on the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority.