After the Edgartown select board requested that the Trustees of Reservations devote a portion of its beach sticker sales revenue to urgent Dike Bridge repairs, the regional land conservation nonprofit is now urging the town to look towards state funding.

The Trustees is currently seeking approval from the town conservation commission to sell oversand vehicle permits for its Chappaquiddick properties accessible via the Dike Bridge. On Oct. 23, the select board sent a letter to the conservation commission recommending that the Trustees only receive approval on condition that a portion of the organization’s permit sales go towards funding repairs to the Dike Bridge’s aging bulkhead. 

In a letter sent to the board Monday, Trustees attorney Dylan Sanders reiterated the organization’s longstanding position that the Dike Bridge is not under Trustees’ ownership, and therefore it is not responsible for funding any repairs.

Mr. Sanders also said the commission doesn’t have the authority to require the Trustees allocate funds to public infrastructure and recommended that the Trustees and the town work together to secure state funding for the estimated $4.3 million in needed repairs.

The last time the bridge saw significant capital repairs was in 1995. Costs totaled $182,256 and were paid for by the state.

“Neither the Town nor the Trustees can bear the necessary expense,” Mr. Sanders wrote. “But by working together, and with the support of the Town’s state legislative delegation, the Trustees are confident that the funding needed to rebuild the Causeway and bulkhead can be secured.”

In a recent conservation commission hearing, residents also claimed that chronic vehicle traffic by Trustees permit holders was a primary cause of the disrepair. Mr. Sanders countered those claims.

“The Causeway’s condition is a function of the fact that the bulkhead is 170 years old, that it has been exposed to harsh and often extreme elements throughout that time, and the fact that the eastern portion of the bulkhead was not rebuilt in 1995, when the western portion of the bulkhead was rebuilt,” Mr. Sanders wrote.

The public hearing to review the Trustees’ oversand vehicle access will continue on Wednesday, Nov. 8.