Oak Bluffs selectmen Tuesday agreed to schedule a special town meeting next month to decide several key issues, including hiring a firm to investigate the source of treated effluent seeping to the surface at Ocean Park and whether to rescind $400,000 in Community Preservation Act funds previously approved for the Bradley Square project.
Selectmen unanimously approved a draft warrant of 10 articles and agreed to tentatively schedule the special town meeting for Dec. 11 at the Oak Bluffs School. The language of articles and date and location of the meeting are still subject to change.
The warrant also includes an article to allow restaurants, if they choose, to stay open and serve food until 1 a.m. Another article would authorize the town to enter into a three-year lease with an option to purchase land in Edgartown adjacent to the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse Disposal and Resource Recovery District transfer station.
The purchase would pave the way for Oak Bluffs to rejoin the Island-wide refuse district in the coming years.
The article would allow a complicated agreement between the refuse district and Tisbury by authorizing $406,000 to be transferred from the Oak Bluffs-Tisbury transfer station surcharge account to be credited against the purchase price of the Edgartown land.
The request to rescind $400,000 in Community Preservation Act funding was placed on the warrant by petition.
The article to authorize $250,000 to be taken from a wastewater retained earnings account to hire a firm to investigate the effluent seepage problems at Ocean Park was criticized by selectman Kerry Scott, who called it vague and confusing.
“People do not want to go a town meeting with a million questions [about an article],” Ms. Scott said. “I want to know what this money will be spent investigating; who is getting paid to do what?”
Town administrator Michael Dutton said town attorney Ronald H. Rappaport is currently researching a number of legal issues, including whether the town is eligible to recoup some of the engineering costs associated with installing the effluent beds under the park.
“We’ve spent a lot of time going through boxes and boxes of old records and forwarding them [to town counsel] . . . there seem to be three possibilities of what happened at Ocean Park — poor design, poor installation or breakage [of pipes]. With any of those three we may be eligible for some type of redress, especially the first two,” Mr. Dutton said.