The Aquinnah selectmen voted this week to approve a conservation restriction for newly-acquired property by the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation on Menemsha Pond.
The 5.8-acre parcel abuts land that Yvette Eastman gave to the foundation over a period of years. The foundation has purchased a restriction on the property for $300,000 with a view easement on land next door. The restriction means the property will remain open and undeveloped forever.
“It’s exciting because it adds to the holdings of this area,” foundation executive director Adam Moore told selectmen at their meeting Tuesday.
“It’s a great save,” said selectman Camille Rose. “We’re all winners on this,” agreed selectman Jim Newman.
In other business, selectmen agreed unanimously to have the town begin cleaning up Roxanne Ackerman’s oyster farm site on Menemsha Pond. Ms. Ackerman, who was not at the meeting, has had a lease since 2005 to farm oysters commercially, but her bags, oysters and equipment have washed up on private property repeatedly creating headaches for the selectmen.
Ms. Ackerman was given another chance a month ago to clean up her area, and Mr. Newman and selectman Spencer Booker visited the site with Ms. Ackerman to point out to her what needed to be cleaned up.
“The photographs have shown there has not been much done. It’s as bad or worse than what we saw last,” Mr. Newman said on Tuesday. “We did our best, we really did,” Mr. Booker said.
“I think we have to do it before the weather gets bad,” Ms. Rose said, who suggested storing Ms. Ackerman’s equipment in the town hall until she claims it. “Once there’s a default on the lease, they are our property. I as a fisherman don’t like that . . . If she wants to pay the bill [she can] get the stuff out of there, and if she doesn’t do it we can sell it.”
Finally, the selectmen voted to approved the shellfish committee’s recommendation to open commercial bay scalloping season on Nov. 15; the limit istwo bushels a day. The selectmen also rescheduled a special town meeting for Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.
by Remy Tumin