At a special town meeting this coming Tuesday night, Aquinnah voters will be asked to buy land for a new affordable housing site and approve a new tax amnesty program, among other things.
Moderator Michael Hebert will preside over the special session that begins at 7 p.m. in the old town hall. There are nine articles on the warrant.
The community preservation committee is asking voters to approve borrowing $240,000 to buy a 6.3-acre parcel of land at 45 State Road to be converted into either affordable homes or rental units.
“It’s a discounted sale from an Aquinnah family who really feel like it would be wonderful to see it benefit town residents,” housing committee chairman Derril Bazzy said this week. “It’s a fabulous opportunity and a beautiful piece of land. It’ll be a beautiful home for an Aquinnah family.”
The community preservation money would pay for the mortgage expense, the same way the Vanderhoop Homestead and the library renovation were financed.
In another article, the affordable housing committee is asking voters to spend $20,000 to transfer property at 20 State Road to the Island Housing Trust. The town bought June Noble’s one-acre property for $110,000 last summer, and since then has created three affordable homesites on it. A lottery is planned for February for the homesites.
Delinquent town taxpayers may benefit if voters approve a tax amnesty program for the 2011 fiscal year. The program would waive 75 per cent of accrued interest, collection costs and penalties owed to the town. The program would begin Nov. 30 and end June 30, 2011.
Voters also be will be asked to pay $10,200 in disability compensation for town employees and volunteers injured in the line of duty. Those not covered by workmen’s compensation insurance, such as Chilmark volunteer firefighter Bill Smith who was using Aquinnah equipment in responding to the Menemsha fire inJuly when he was injured, will be compensated. The amount will be returned to the general fund through the payments from insurance claims.
Another article calls for voters to replenish the 2011 fiscal year reserve fund with $5,100 already spent on the claims.
Voters will be asked to spend $2,600 on an unexpected repair to the fire truck and $7,000 on a new generator for the town hall.
They will be asked to pay Aquinnah’s $3,164 portion of the annual Tri-Town Ambulance bill from the last fiscal year. Chilmark has already approved its share, and West Tisbury will be asked to approve its share at the next scheduled town meeting.
And as negotiations with Comcast are under way to secure a new contract with the Island, the cable advisory board is requesting $4,000 for the town’s share of the cost of legal fees.
© 2010 Vineyard Gazette
By REMY TUMIN