Mooring fee increases and pump-out program changes are on the horizon in Tisbury.
At the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, the harbor management committee proposed a 20 per cent fee increase for private mooring holders for next year, and two 10 per cent increases to take effect over the next four years. Harbor master Jay Wilbur said annual mooring fees currently range from $75 to $300 based on the size of the boat. There are about 800 private moorings in Tisbury town waters, Mr. Wilbur said.
Committee member Melinda Loberg said the fee increases will generate more money for the harbor budget, which Mr. Wilbur said is “down to the wire every year.”
The fee increases are projected to bring in an additional $20,000 to $30,000 a year.
The selectmen scheduled a public hearing for Jan. 22 on the fee increases. On the same night the selectmen will hold a hearing on changes to the pump-out policy for boats.
Mrs. Loberg said a proposed new rule would require any business providing services to transient boaters (including dockage and mooring rentals), to provide pump-out services.
Currently the town operates two pump-out boats which discharge waste at one station at Ralph Packer’s wharf. The station was washed away during Hurricane Sandy but the town plans to rebuild it.
There was increased demand for pump-out services this summer following passage of the Clean Vessel Act, which bars discharge within three miles of shore.
“This [proposed regulation] enables us to have more direct, problem-solving conversation with all the players that use pump-out,” Mrs. Loberg said.
Businesses and marinas will be responsible for pumping out their customers’ boats as well as their own.
In other business, selectmen:
• Appointed a committee to explore the viability of leasing or buying a dredge for town projects. Mrs. Loberg, Nevin Sayre and selectman Jeff Kristal will serve.
• Voted to join the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s call for a six-
month delay on the medical marijuana dispensaries law passed in November, postponing the start date to July 1.
Public school security was a topic of discussion. Board chairman Tristan asked fire chief John Schilling and police chief Dan Hanavan to keep the board informed of future security plans at the Tisbury School.
“I think it’s important that the community be reassured and made aware of these things,” Mr. Israel said.
Chief Schilling said firefighters, police and emergency managers will meet with schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss early in the new year to revaluate school security procedures.
The subject of schools prompted a comment from Mr. Kristal about school hiring policies.
“The school has been operating in a vacuum for the last several weeks,” he said. “They’ve hired a terminated employee that had worked for the town for 20 years without any discussion with the police chief or with anybody in town hall.
“This cannot happen when we are discussing security with the schools.”
After the meeting Mr. Kristal said he was referring to former Tisbury police Sgt. Robert Fiske, who was fired by the selectmen in November 2011 for mishandling a domestic and sexual assault case three months earlier.
Reached by telephone, Mr. Weiss confirmed that Mr. Fiske had been hired as a teaching assistant in the Tisbury School and will begin work there after the new year. He said Mr. Fiske applied for a posted job, was interviewed by principal John Custer and a teacher committee, completed reference checks and was selected as the best applicant. As part of standard procedure, he said the applicant was given a criminal history background check. The school hiring system does not go through the selectmen, Mr. Weiss said.