As plans come into focus for the VTA’s new electric charging platform and revamped bus terminal on Church street, Edgartown selectmen said this week that the transit authority would have to keep a large linden tree that provides cover over a portion of the property.

At a shade tree hearing held Monday, selectmen heard requests from the VTA to remove five trees — including the linden — around the site before they begin construction on a $1.4 million project that will outfit the bus stop with electric charging platforms. VTA administrator Angela Grant said the authority wants to get started on the project this winter, with a planned completion date of May 14.

The requests came as part of a broader presentation to the selectmen from Ms. Grant, in which she outlined VTA plans to refurbish the entire waiting area with a new layout that includes granite and brick paving, intertwined L-shaped benches, a wood shade pergola and fresh landscaping. Although part of the project includes replacing a shade tree near the front of the property, it also involved removing five other trees from the site.

Ms. Grant said the plan prevented them from replacing the trees on site, but said they would replace the trees elsewhere in the town.

The five shade trees include two Norway maples, other trees on town-owned property across the street and on the property line, as well as the large linden tree. Even though highway superintendent Allen DeBettencourt agreed that four of the trees were either dying, overly pruned, or probably couldn’t survive construction, he felt differently about the linden.

“As for the linden tree out front, I still think that is a really good viable tree in its location,” Mr. DeBettencourt said. “But if we can maintain the tree during the construction phase and with the layout of the benches, I do not know. I’m going to leave that to [the selectmen] to make a decision on.”

Selectman Michael Donaroma said it was unnecessary to remove the linden, and further said that removing so many trees would change the character of the bus stop, which is nicely shaded in the summer months.

“I know this is an important project, but I have a couple concerns,” Mr. Donaroma said. “I’m a little concerned with not replacing any of [the trees]. There’s always room somewhere. I’m hoping that there’s still maybe a planter . . . to put something back there, just to keep that character of quaint town rather than this strip.”

He added:

“Seeing this site with no trees on it is going to be a bit of a shocker.”

The town owns the visitor center at the site which is operated under a lease arrangement and includes a postal substation.

After discussion, selectmen voted to allow the VTA to remove four of the trees, but said the linden tree would have to stay. They accepted the VTA’s offer to plant trees elsewhere in the town, but only after a careful review of the possibility of replacing as many trees as possible on the site.

Ms. Grant said the VTA would probably be able to invert the current landscape plan in order to keep the linden tree.

She said the project is funded mainly through federal capital dollars. In 2018, The VTA received $1.75 million in federal low and no emissions funding to install inductive charging stations on the Island. There is also federal funding to offset the cost of the electric buses versus the diesel buses.

“It’ll be much more attractive and welcoming to visitors than what we currently have there,” Ms. Grant said.