West Tisbury selectmen took a historic step on Wednesday, unanimously voting to approve the town’s first beer and wine license. State Road restaurant, which spearheaded the campaign to bring wine and beer sales to the town, applied for and was granted a year-round license.
Owner Mary Kenworth said the restaurant would close only during the month of March.
The license must still be approved by the state Alcohol Beverage Control Commission before beer and wine may be served.
In other business, the selectmen stood firm in their commitment to keep costs down for the library building project, even as the library building budget begins to swell.
Library building committee chairman Leah Smith presented the selectmen with four different options for paving the parking area in front of the library, all of which were above the original cost estimate. The overage stems from the deed to the property, which prohibits the majority of the lot from being blacktopped. The lot was a gift to the town from Gladys Jones.
Ms. Smith said the committee recommended using interlocking concrete pavers for the entire the parking lot, estimated at $283,300. The library had originally budgeted $130,000 for asphalt paving.
The selectmen decided to ask voters to appropriate up to $50,000 in additional spending for the paving project at an upcoming special town meeting. The cost amounts to 30 per cent of the overage. The library would have to raise the remaining $107,000, or 70 per cent of costs, on its own.
Ms. Smith said the building committee has made a “very close budget” and already cut $420,000 from the budget at a meeting on Monday.
“We gave up a lot of things in the library, we reduced various characteristics . . . and cut it as close to the bone as we can,” she said.
Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd said while he understood this was an unforeseen expenditure, the library promised to request only $1.5 million from the town for the new $6 million project, and he intended to hold them to that promise. “That $1.5 million keeps reeling in my mind,” Mr. Manter said. “We haven’t even started the project and you’re $150,000 in the hole. You’re going to be over budget already.”
“The library promised it would never be more than $1.5 million for the town’s share of this project, by doing this you’re going beyond the promise of what you asked the town to do and I’m uncomfortable with that,” he said. “I think you can be more creative and not ask the town to take on this additional burden.”
Librarian Beth Kramer argued it was a town project and the parking lot was a shared space.
“The parking lot has been unsafe for a long time. I don’t think you should be separating it, [the library] is a town building,” she said. “If the best combination is to respect the donation that was given to the town and that has evolved, let’s embrace the library and the Howes House. We’re trying to serve the public and I don’t think we should be dividing and appropriating. Let’s build a parking lot that works for the town.”
Selectman and chairman of the board Cynthia Mitchell said there were other town costs to consider.
“We need to figure out how to pay for it within the terms of the deal, we have other building projects going on,” she said.
Selectmen also approved nine other articles for the special town meeting; among them: amending the dog bylaw to require dogs be leashed at all times on public property, including Lambert’s Cove Beach. The bylaw would be applicable year round and not restricted to the summer season. There are also two spending articles to pay for an assistant animal control officer and an evening parking lot attendant to uphold the new bylaw passed at the annual town meeting in April that prohibits dogs on the beach after 10 a.m. Both of the positions total $15,000. Ms. Mitchell said funding sources were still being determined.