The Chilmark selectmen will award bottom grants next month for 15 acres of north shore water to shellfishermen who want to grow blue mussels in Vineyard Sound.
The selectmen will hold a public hearing on the grants on Oct. 5. The current site has been used for an experimental mussel program supported by the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group, the Chilmark shellfish committee and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.
At the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, shellfishermen Tim Broderick and Alec Gale presented their plan for a commercial mussel farm that would have 10 lines, each 500 feet long. The two men, who did the work on the experimental project in the sound, are now seeking a five-acre bottom grant to run their mussel project. In a letter, Chilmark selectman and board chairman Warren Doty said he would recommend approval of the grant to the board. Mr. Doty said Mr. Broderick and Mr. Gale “have shown great initiative in developing this project. I applaud your efforts.”
In other shellfish news, selectmen voted to open family scallop season Oct. 1; the weekly limit is half a bushel. Dates have not been set yet for the opening of the commercial season, which is expected to be in November following an assessment of the scallop crop by the town shellfish committee.
Selectmen voted to place a one-question special ballot before voters on Nov. 2, the same day as the general election in Massachusetts, asking to exclude $1.5 million for rebuilding the West Dock and carway from the provisions of Proposition 2 1/2. The money is slated to be voted on as a borrowing issue at a special town meeting Monday.
Work has begun on demolition of the Coast Guard boathouse that was destroyed in the July 12 Menemsha fire.
The selectmen approved a single tax rate for the 2011 fiscal year. The tax rate will be set Tuesday morning. The selectmen also voted to participate in the county bulk purchase program for fuel oil to heat town buildings.
A board of trustees will be established for the Molly Flender Chilmark Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and will include representatives from the selectmen, housing committee, planning board, finance advisory committee and a member at large. The trustees will be named at the Oct. 19 selectmen’s meeting. The selectmen voted to allocate $6,000 for annual maintenance for the Middle Line road rental project.
Barbara Silk was appointed administrative assistant for TriTown Ambulance, and Todd Christy was appointed to the same position for the personnel board.
The selectmen agreed to allow the annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival to be held at the Chilmark Community Center from March 18 through 20 next year; organizer Brian Ditchfield said he had just returned from Toronto looking for films for the festival. In lieu of rent, Mr. Ditchfield proposed adding devices for the hearing impaired to the community center.
“We’re talking about having that technology during the festival but also for the building year-round, so people who have hearing difficulties during town meetings or [concerts] have that technology available,” Mr. Ditchfield said.