COUNTY OF DUKES COUNTY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
A regular meeting of the County of Dukes County Commissioners was held on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 at 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Room of the County Administration Building, notice of such meeting having been posted as required by law.
Commissioners Present: Leslie H. Leland, Chairman
Leonard Jason, Jr.
E. B. Collins
Commissioner Absent: Robert Sawyer
Also Present: Carol Borer, County Manager
Marni Lipke, Recorder
Cynthia Mitchell, Dukes County Health Council
Murray Frank, Dukes County Health Council
Robert Culbert, Beach Manager
Nathan Durawa, Assistant Beach Manager
Alan Wilson, Surveyor
Chairman Leland called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Commissioner Collins moved that the Minutes of February 13, 2002
be accepted as amended. Commissioner Jason seconded the
motion. The vote to approve the Minutes passed with Commissioner Jason abstaining.
County Manager Carol Borer met with both the Dept. of Transitional Assistance (DAT) and Dept. of Social Services (DSS) on Monday, February 25th. Both agencies are taking cuts in the current budget and some staff and services to Martha’s Vineyard are suffering. There will be a phone link to Falmouth so food stamps will no longer require a face to face interview. Off-Island staff will be brought in to help, and the possibility of the Health Care Access Program distributing brochures was raised. There is some State legislative maneuvering to restore DSS funding.
The supplemental budget was taken up today but the outcome has not been reported. The Dukes County Health Council (DCHC) audit has been completed and they are awaiting the statement. The Veteran’s Director moved in today and has notified all clients and contacts of the change.
Ms. Borer will be meeting with the Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) around the proposal to build a public safety building. Further progress is awaiting the approval of land from the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission. The Airport Master Plan Update, which recommends land use and planning, is due this spring.
The Cape Light Compact $14,000 grant for education and marketing has been used to purchase 1,000 energy saving light bulbs which will be distributed to the general population at Town meetings. An Energy Efficiency Display for the Agricultural Fair is being planned with the remainder of the funds. Mr. Jason suggested that the number of light bulbs was not sufficient. More can be purchased but there is some debate on whether they should be sold or given away. Edgartown has bought back it’s energy saving street lights and Mr. Wey reported that the Oak Bluffs Board of Selectmen will consider the matter at their next meeting and are favorably disposed toward the project.
Grant writer Ms. Alice Boyd is working with the Town of Edgartown to develop housing for 40 affordable housing units. A skunk brochure has been produced and will be available this summer. An Emergency Medical Services Procurement Committee has been scheduled for Monday, March 4th.
Mr. Murray Frank and Chairman Cynthia Mitchell of the DCHC then presented the Prevention Committee’s Project. After very thorough research on Mr. Frank’s part, 2,000 Healthwise books were purchased and distributed throughout the resident population. Commissioner Jason suggested that the books be distributed in the Hospital Emergency Room. The book helps people to identify and treat many common illnesses with clear, comprehensive health and medical information. It is hoped this will help reduce doctor’s visits. The Commissioners complimented these particular books for their accuracy and accessibility. A letter of endorsement has been signed by every doctor on the Island, as well as some other health care providers. Those
receiving the book fill out a questionnaire. Statistics on use will be compiled to measure project success. The Island Foundation for Health, the Lighthouse and the DCHC funded the current set. It is unclear whether possible future books will be grant funded or purchased by the consumer. The cost of translation into Portuguese is $40,000 but it was suggested that the Vineyard share the costs with other regional towns or counties with similar populations. Mr. Frank and Ms. Mitchell thanked the Commissioner’s for their time and the Commissioners commended them for their good work.
Mr. Durawa and Mr. Culbert reported on the status of the County beaches.
• Eastville is in reasonable shape although there is some trouble with dumping of refuse. The parking lot will be filled and re-graded as soon as the weather allows.
• Norton Point has survived this fairly mild winter with some erosion at its wider, previously more stable parts. Due to natural erosion the vehicle trail to Chappaquiddick has been reduced to a single middle trail, the pond trail having reverted to salt marsh and the ocean side having washed away. The trail is breached by high tides and waves about once a month. Mr. Culbert is mapping the severe erosion for documentation and submittal to the Coastal Zone Management Agency. Mr. Culbert and Mr. Durawa noted the impossibility of enforcing vehicle regulations along the trail at night and out of season. Vehicle permit revenues are greater than expected.
• State Beach has finally received its permit to enlarge the Camp Jabberwocky parking space, which will complete the legal requirements for disability access. Monthly surveying has been fairly comprehensive and new software allows for the printing of contour maps both in and out of the water. Mr. Culbert is particularly concerned about the narrowness of the beach around the 3rd and 4th groins. Another concern is the sandbar and shallowness of the pond around the Little Bridge. A dredging project is underway which will clear the channel and nourish the beach. However Mr. Culbert suggested that extending the jetties to equal length might rectify the problem more permanently, and he proposed a coalition to promote the project. The Commissioners strongly
recommended that the town police chiefs and Mass. Highways be consulted for a contingency traffic plan in case the road is breached and/or has to be temporarily closed. The Barrier Beach Task Force (BBTF) took up some fairly difficult issues at its last meeting (see BBTF 10/02 Minutes): bathroom facilities, crosswalks, and a pedestrian walkway inside the line of parked cars on the Sound side of the road. The Commission discussed various issues involved in the above matters. It was felt that bathroom facilities in particular should be implemented for the 2002 season. Commissioner Wey and Mr. Culbert will start preliminary discussions on bathroom facilities at the next meeting of the Oak Bluffs Board of Selectmen. A public hearing in coordination with other towns and relevant organizations may follow. The County Recreation department will check with the Sheriff’s Department about the enforcement of requiring cars to park facing Oak Bluffs. It
was also suggested that the County pass regulations that would enable the Recreation Department to write tickets and collect fines.
The Commission then reviewed the revised draft of the beach regulations and amended them for clarity.
Commissioner Collins moved that the meeting adjourn. Commissioner Alley Seconded the Motion. The meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.
Complete text of meeting is available on tape at the County Commissioner’s office.
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO, JR.
CLERK OF THE COURTS