Edgartown selectmen approved three more restaurants for expanded outdoor seating, heard a presentation on a project to replace the Windemere nursing facility and formed a Church Street VTA committee at a busy Zoom meeting Monday afternoon.

Having already approved special outdoor dining permits for ten restaurants, the town added three more to the list on Monday, approving local extension of premises for Sharky’s, The Newes From American pub and Alchemy restaurant on Main Street as the town’s al-fresco dining plan for the summer revs up before the Fourth of July weekend.

While Sharky’s plans to offer outdoor seating in its parking lot off Upper main street, the other two restaurants have more particular plans. The Newes — similar to the Port Hunter — is planning to put a raised seating platform outside the restaurant on Kelly Street. And Alchemy has designs to use the Edgartown Courthouse lawn for seating. Use of the lawn was approved at a meeting of the Dukes County Commissioners last week.

All three approvals are contingent on a board of health walk-through of the properties.

In other business Monday, selectmen heard a presentation from Renee Lohman, president and CEO of Navigator Elder Homes of New England, about a project to replace the Windemere nursing facility on land off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.

The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital said in early December that it planned to buy approximately 26 acres from the Philip J. Norton family in the hope of developing a new, 70-bed multi-unit nursing facility. A hospital spokesman confirmed last week that the sale has not been completed and that the project remains in its early stages due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project would combine five, 14-bedroom live-in elder care homes with between 30 and 60 units of workforce housing, Ms. Lohman told selectmen Monday. The nursing home would operate on a 50 per cent private pay and 50 per cent Medicaid model, and no current Windemere residents on Medicaid would be denied access. Facilities would be built in the so-called green home model, with the five houses all backing up on a shared, communal green space. The Windemere nursing facility is currently annexed to the hospital.

Ms. Lohman said the facility would have a homey, residential feel, unlike other nursing facilities that feel like hospitals.

“We are trying to keep things very attractive and residential,” she said. “People do not need to have hospital beds that look like hospital beds.”

Initially intent on raising $12 million for the development, Ms. Lohman said a combination of federal USDA grants and other funding measures have lowered the price tag to between $4 and $6 million. She said she hoped to begin permitting this fall and to start construction by the winter of 2021.

“We’re ahead of the curve when preparing for this new design,” Ms. Lohman said. “I know we have a long way to go.”

Selectmen expressed enthusiasm about the project and said they looked forward to the next steps.

“I am certainly excited about it,” selectman Michael Donaroma said.

Selectmen also formed a committee to further review the Vineyard Transit Authority project to add an electric bus charging station to its Church street depot. The project was approved earlier last year but hit snags when Main street residents voiced opposition to the project and submitted a town meeting article by petition to request further review. The article passed at town meeting, prompting the review committee formed on Monday.

But even the committee appointments on Monday were not without controversy. Selectmen chose a variety of people, including Dukes County commissioner Keith Chatinover, VTA administrator Angela Grant, Martha’s Vineyard Commission planner Bill Veno, VTA representative Mark Snider, as well as Main street residents Jane Chittick and Sara Piazza, both vocal opponents of the project.

Ms. Chittick said she felt the makeup of the committee was unfairly skewed toward the VTA, and raised procedural questions. Selectman Arthur Smadbeck and town administrator James Hagerty said that it was important to have representatives from all sides of the issue and that the committee should meet and come back to the selectmen if there are problems.

Decisions made by the committee are nonbinding.

And after months of back-and-forth, selectmen finally approved a fuel license for R.M Packer Company’s above-ground tanks at North Wharf, allowing the gas dock to finally reopen in the harbor.

Aging fuel tanks and environmental problems caused the harbor to go without fuel for nearly the entire summer last year. With Mr. Packer’s lease set to expire this year, selectmen agreed to a two-year extension over the winter in exchange for a temporary fix that involved the installation of above-ground tanks.

“Let’s get that rolling,” Mr. Donaroma said.