Tisbury Approves Waterworks Housing – The Martha’s Vineyard Times

Tisbury Select Council voted 2-0 on Wednesday July 13 to approve a housing amendment to its agreement with WT Rich, construction manager at risk for the Tisbury School Renovation and Addition project. The deal would see WT Rich employees housed in the former Aqueduct office building near the Tashmoo spring.

“It’s been vacant for a considerable amount of time,” City Administrator Jay Grande told the board. Grande said there are other places on the island where workforce housing solutions have been found using government real estate.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but right now the construction team wants to house six people there,” Grande said. “There’s a list of things they should do at home in order to get it up to code… I don’t know what the value of that work is.”

Grande said he hasn’t entered into a discussion about payments.

“I see this as a temporary arrangement,” Grande said. “Nothing sets a precedent in the sense that the select committee, as a result of this experience, may decide that you want to go back and use it for other purposes…”

Grande said he was supportive of the concept.

KP Law solicitor David Doneski, who is solicitor for the town of Tisbury, reiterated that a number of improvements were needed for the property to be lived in.

“These would all be undertaken by WT Rich,” Doneski said. “We would do that in the form of an amendment to the construction manager’s agreement between the city and WT Rich. They would undertake the improvements, which I think would take a few weeks, as I understand it. And then, for record purposes really, having a nominal monthly payment to the city…”

Doneski added that WT Rich should adhere to typical landlord/renter rules, such as maintaining insurance, keeping premises clean and refraining from illegal activity.

Doneski said the building could accommodate up to six people, but it was “pretty unlikely” there would be six people at a time.

Tashmoo Spring Building management committee member Lorraine Wells expressed support for the idea as long as the occupancy is temporary

In other matters, the council, in their capacity as road commissioners, voted 2 to 0 to approve overnight utility works on Beach Road.

Grande said Comcast wants to work July 20 and 21 from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“There are no jackhammers or trenches,” Grande said.

The work will be aerial.

Grande noted that Eversource has completed most of the work on its Beach Road project, but there are still residual, half-sawn utility poles left. These contain Comcast and Verizon wires.

Grande said Verizon and Comcast still need to move their wires to new utility poles where Eversource has already suspended its power lines. Once done, the half poles can be removed.

Citing intense demand from utility teams, Grande said, “I wouldn’t want to miss this opportunity to do this job.”

Board member John Cahill asked if there would be any service disruptions from Comcast.

“I don’t know the answer to that, John, they didn’t bring that up,” Grande said.

Grande went on to say that Comcast should notify owners of a service outage.

Cahill also asked if there would be any additional equipment or wires.

Grande said he would ask if there were any changes or modifications to the plans for the Beach Road project.

Cahill reiterated his concern about service disruptions. “We have business along this road, that’s all I’m worried about,” he said.

On the recommendation of Police Chief Chris Habekost, the council voted 2-0 to appoint Cory Medeiros as a full-time patrol officer.

Chairman Larry Gomez was absent from the meeting.

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