The chief of police in Aquinnah will soon be driving a 2007 Ford Crown Victoria, thanks to the Edgartown police department. The Aquinnah selectmen agreed to accept the donated cruiser — which was deemed defunct and in need of replacement by the town of Edgartown — at their meeting Tuesday night.
According to Chief Randhi Belain, the costs associated with outfitting the cruiser for use in Aquinnah — which he expects to total roughly $1,900 — will be covered by unused funds left over from a community policing grant, which must be spent by the end of the year. The vehicle will be used as an unmarked cruiser and will replace the 2000 Crown Victoria that the chief is currently driving.
Reached by telephone on Wednesday, Chief Belain said the former Edgartown cruiser has lower mileage and is in better condition than his current vehicle. The chief expects the vehicle to be ready for use within the next two weeks.
This is the second police vehicle donated to the police department in four years. The last time the town purchased a cruiser was in 2005.
In other business Tuesday, selectmen scheduled a special election for Jan. 19 for a debt exclusion question for funds that will be borrowed for repairs to the town offices building. At a special town meeting last month, voters agreed to spend $100,000 for a new roof, new windows, interior painting, and wiring upgrades. The ballot question must also be approved in order for the work to go forward. In a related matter, the special town meeting was postponed last month for lack of a quorum and had been set to continue on Tuesday night, but again there was no quorum. Unfinished business from the meeting will now be put over to either the next special town meeting, or the annual town meeting in the spring.
Board members from the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard presented the new Lillian Hellman Recreational Fund to the board. The late Ms. Hellman was a former Aquinnah property owner, and set aside funds in her estate to support recreation, leisure and educational activities for school-age Island children. Preference will be given to children in Aquinnah.
The selectmen agreed to work with permanent endowment board members to discuss the best way to abide by the purpose of the fund.
The auction date for a 3.6-acre landlocked parcel off Lighthouse Road has been rescheduled from Dec. 10 to give the town time to develop a request for proposals (RFP), a requirement under Massachusetts general laws. The auction has been tentatively rescheduled for early February.
Highway superintendent Jay Smalley will spend the next few weeks clearing low-hanging branches from trees lining Lobsterville Road. The branches will be stacked along the side of the road and available for town residents to use for kindling.
The selectmen also appointed Jason Baird to provide backup snow plowing services this winter, in the event that the regular plower, Mr. Smalley, is unavailable. “It will be at the discretion of Jay’s calling,” said town coordinator Jeffrey J. Burgoyne. “It just becomes as needed, it’s not an automatic process.”
The board also appointed Edward Belain to the shellfish committee, and reappointed committee members James Sanfilipo, Carl Widdiss and Hollis Smith.
by Megan Dooley