Dukes County Commission Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Aquinnah Town Hall
Call to Order
Chairman Leonard Jason, Jr. called the County Commissioner’s meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Commissioners Tristan Israel, Les Leland, John Alley and Tom Hallahan were present.
Also in attendance were County Manager Russell Smith, Executive Assistant Martina Thornton, Chris Knowles – Assoc. Commissioner for Public Health, Peter Cabana and Joanie Ames of MVTV.
Tristan/Les moved to approve the minutes of meeting on 6-10-2009. So voted. In favor: Hallahan, Jason, Israel. Abstained: Alley. Motion was not approved. It will be put on the agenda for next meeting.
Chris Knowles – update
Public Health Committee was re-established. The other 4 members are: Susan Wasserman ( MV Community Services), Chuck Cotnoir (County Emergency Management Director), Matt Poole (Edgartown Health Agent) and Gayle Poggy (Director of Case Management at the MV Hospital). They feel there is no good way of communicating on the Island in case of urgent public health emergency. If the power is out it does not do much good to do it on TV and radio. They also would like to reemphasize the distribution of information about the tick born disease prevention, preparedness in case of major hurricane and what to do if there is no electricity (no fridge to store food) and no drinking water etc. They are monitoring the development of the H1N1 flu that is expected to evolve and come back in fall as a second flu wave potentially more virulent. They will work
with the Medical Reserve Corp on the flu clinic in October on Veteran’s Day. Tristan made a comment that it is still not worked out what would be the dispensing site in case of a pandemic. Chris said that the MV MRC is made up of 6 town health agents, Ron MacLaren -representative from the Tribe, Chuck Cotnoir - County Emergency Director and Carol Bardwell who represents the hospital. This group is meeting with the chiefs of police, emergency directors, the VNA. Tom asked if they are using any of the social networks to distribute the information. Chris said that they would be working on this at their next meeting. Lenny asked if Chris has a copy of the seminar about the Lyme disease and he suggested running it on the public access TV channels. Tristan asked if they are also including tularemia in the discussion. Chris said yes, it would be all tick-born diseases.
Peter Cabana – Cape & Vineyard Electricity Cooperative follow up
He would like to answer all questions that the Commissioners might have and would like to recommend to the County to join the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative.
John/Tristan moved to join the Cape &Vineyard Electric Cooperative. Discussion: Les is not clear on the member obligations, could a member choose not to sign up for a specific project. Peter said that no member has any financial obligation just by joining other then the $25 fee. They will not be liable for any projects of the Coop already in place. If a new project comes up the members would be obligated to sign a power purchase agreement to buy electricity from that project for certain amount of time for certain price. Peter said that right now Martha’s Vineyard requires 50Mwatts of electricity. The Coop is considering small land based wind turbine projects on the Cape (about 1-2Mwatts). There is no capital obligation to the members associated with the project. Tristan said that this would be a good way for the County to
show the regional leadership in this area to support renewable energy projects. Les said he wants to make sure that we will not be obligated to sign a contract for electricity at cost higher than the going rate. Tristan said that that would be a legitimate question once we have a concrete proposal before us. By joining the Coop we do not get obligated to any project but we get the opportunity to join in on the project should we desire to. Tom said that by joining we get a right to vote and with that the opportunity to set the policies. We can withdraw at any time with no financial obligation or penalty other then the Power Purchase Agreements that we already have signed. The structure of the Executive Committee (no less then three, no more then five members) should get changed as the Committee has lots of powers. Peter said that it was recommended to have it expanded, but there is a feeling that the change should be done once the Coop has more members (currently 7), hopefully by
this fall. Tom said that he would be encouraging to change it to “one member one vote”. Les asked if the County joins, if that obligates any of the towns. Peter said no. Peter Cabana is the only representative from Martha’s Vineyard now and he would like to see a better representation of the Island. There will be large-scale renewable energy project developed as result of the Green Communities Act. Peter feels that the County and the whole island could benefit from joining. Peter Hefler, our representative to the Cape Light Compact was interested to serve as the County’s representative to the Coop also. Tristan withdrew his second on the motion to give the opportunity for the missing members to be able to vote on it. It will be on the next meeting’s agenda for a vote.
Airport Runway relocation
Last June the Commission voted to approve for the Airport to apply for a grant to relocate runway by 300 feet from one side and build it out on the other side. There was study done, it did go through a public hearing. It is a $6.5 million project. The Airport’s share would be 2.5%, which is $172,921.
Mr. John Alley moved
- To authorize the County Commissioners’ Chair to sign the Mass Aeronautics Commission Contracts, Grant Applications, Grant and Grant Assurances for the project at the MV Airport to relocate 300 feet from one side of the runway and add it at the other end and related work as presented and
- To allow the County Treasurer to borrow funds for this project if needed in anticipation of state funds to cover the loan.
Mr. Tristan Israel seconded.
Discussion: John Alley said that it was done this way in the past. Russell added that we have the Mass General Law that allows the County to borrow funds for this type of a project. Les asked if it comes with standard FAA grant assurances as with other grants in the past. Russell said that the grant assurances are from MAC (State) and they are the same as in prior grants.
So voted. Motion passed unanimously: 6 ayes, 0 nays, 0 abstentions.
On Saturday June 27th we are organizing a Pet Fair in Oak Bluffs at the Sunset Lake Park from 12 to 2pm with lots of activities and we are also having an Open House in the shelter from 10-12noon and from 3-5pm. At the Pet Fair there will be the blessing of the pets,
AKC Good Citizen Dog certification, obedience demonstration and other activities. Plum TV will cover the event.
Courthouse Roof Repair update
We have 2/3 of the roof repaired, but unfortunately the one part that is not repaired is the one that was leaking the most. It had to be repaired as the last part due to the placement of the dumpster. Les asked when are they expecting to finish the roof. Russell said that they would need about another two weeks of good weather to finish the repairs.
Eastville Beach Parking Lot
We have permit from Oak Bluffs Conservation Commission for the project and are waiting for the material. Tristan said that we are creating more then 5 parking spaces in costal zone in the area by the jetty according to the plan from the State Access Board and so the plan might have to be brought before the MV Commission. Lenny said that it is only due to organizing better the existing parking area. Russell said we could put it on the next agenda and provide the Commissioners with a map that will show the changes.
We are signing people up for training to use the software. We have $2,500 worth of training available. The software was downloaded for all the assessors and the police and fire departments are just about up and running also. July 1st we are starting out first annual contract for $25K, the cost will be divided between the 9 users, which will save the towns money by not having to purchase it individually. Russell will send each of the users a bill, they should have money in their budgets as they were paying for this type of service and do have it built into their budgets already.
Lenny said that the plants and grass on the State beach are doing good and thanked Russell and all who helped to plant it.
Martina said that the County website homepage was changed and because of that people who signed up to receive the news that we are posting on the website via e-mail would have to sign up again to receive it in the future.
Lenny asked who from the County Commissioners would go to the Forth of July parade. John and Tom will go. Tristan asked if the County would have candy. Russell said the rule is no candy as kids were coming into the street to get it. Tristan said he was handing it out last year.
John /Les moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:15p.m.
Respectfully Submitted by:
JOSEPH E. SOLLITTO JR., Clerk of the Courts