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Chilmark Voters Convene for Special Town Meeting Monday

Vineyard Gazette of Edgartown, Massachusetts

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A 10-article special town meeting in Chilmark next week will focus on projects in Menemsha and around Tea Lane. Voters will be asked to approve $85,089.17 in spending requests.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, at the Chilmark Community Center. Longtime moderator Everett Poole will preside over the session.

The largest request, for $25,000, would fund an increase in hours for the assistant shellfish constable, as discussed several times by the selectmen this summer and fall. The year-round position would come with a salary and benefits, but fewer hours in the winter. The selectmen have strongly endorsed the change, in light of a strong shellfish harvest last season and efforts to expand the industry in Menemsha Pond.

For $16,000, the town could replace the seven power stations on the West Dock in the harbor, along with three power packs (jump starters) on the commercial bulkhead, and pay for electrical repairs to town-owned lighting.

A total of $20,000 would fund a needs assessment and design services for the Menemsha comfort station, which is often overburdened in the summer; and a plan for vehicles and pedestrians in the harbor area. Among other things, the plan would consider bus service and a new sidewalk.

"Not everybody will agree on a solution," selectman Warren Doty said at a recent selectmen's meeting that addressed the vehicle and pedestrian plan. "But we'll all agree that we have a problem."

An Army Corps of Engineers dredging project in Menemsha channel may lead to an increase in boat traffic in the pond and harbor. Voters will decide whether to approve $6,000 for a small boat for the harbor department to help manage the waterway. The town already has an outboard motor that it hopes to reuse. The dredging project must be finished by Jan. 31 to avoid the spawning of winter flounder. It is the channel's first complete dredging in 42 years.

A total of $10,000 would pay for repairs near Clambelly Road, off of Tea Lane, between North and Middle Roads; and to divert water on either side of Tea Lane, near the Tiasquam River, which flows into Tisbury Great Pond.

Ten bills from prior years, totaling $6,089.17, will also come to a vote.

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Original Publication Date: November 6, 2015

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