Citing continued concerns about the need to clean up Menemsha Pond from a failed oyster propagation project of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the Aquinnah selectmen this week directed town coordinator Jeffrey Burgoyne to set up a meeting with tribe leaders to discuss the problem.


In May the board voted to extend the deadline for the cleanup, which was already overextended at the time. The tribe was granted an additional 30 days to clean the pond of litter left by the abandoned commercial oyster project. The problem has had both environmental and financial impacts on the town, which granted tax rebates to several Menemsha Pond homeowners earlier this year as a result of fouling on the shoreline from floating oyster bags.

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, selectmen said nearly three months after the tribe’s latest deadline the cleanup project remains unfinished. “We need to know why it hasn’t been done,” said selectman Camille Rose. The other two selectmen agreed, and Mr. Burgoyne was asked to schedule a meeting with the tribe, as well as another tour of the pond.

In other business this week, the selectmen voted to suspend parking restrictions at Lobsterville and Philbin Beach for the fall months, an annual practice which benefits participants in the bass and bluefish derby.

Mr. Burgoyne also gave another status report on the Aquinnah Public Library project. Town employees are currently in the process of moving the library from its temporary space in the old town hall to the renovated library, housed in the former Aquinnah schoolhouse building. Mr. Burgoyne reported that the project is currently close to $5,300 under budget, but he projected that the town will end up about $2,000 over budget when the project is completed and all expenses have been paid.

The board also discussed logistical plans for continuing the move, including where to store books, and whether to purchase a dehumidifier to protect them in the process. The library is expected to reopen in mid to late October.

Selectmen also announced their meeting dates for October. The board will meet the first and third Tuesday of the month, on Oct. 6 and Oct. 20, at 5 p.m.

with permission, MV Gazette