Town Council notes

Mon, 12/13/2021 - 7:15am

Moped Rental Licenses

The council voted unanimously to postpone the licensing item until the January meeting since two council members were not there, Council Member Martha Ball and Second Warden Sven Risom. Council Member Keith Stover said that mopeds were “enough of a public issue that the entire council should be here.”
The legal counsel for all five moped companies, Josh Sparks, disagreed and urged the council to grant the licenses. He was joining the meeting via Zoom since
the afternoon boats were canceled, and said the applicants deserved to have their applications heard “in a timely fashion.”
Council Member Mark Emmanuelle said he would also like to have representatives of the moped companies present at the January meeting, although Sparks countered that he was the representative of the moped companies. Additionally, Mike Finnimore, owner of Island Mopeds had sent his on-site manager to the proceedings.

Bird tracking

The council voted unanimously to approve the extension of the Special Temporary Permit for two 20-foot bird tracking telemetry towers on land owned by The
Nature Conservancy and the Southeast Light Foundation. Dr. Peter Paton joined the meeting by Zoom to explain that his team was using the towers and the “latest
transmitters” to track bird patterns around the wind turbines and to study the effects on birds of the new turbines being built off Martha’s Vineyard. The permit is good for six months, which is the maximum time allowed under the town’s ordinances.
RIDEM grants

The council voted to approve Town Manager Maryanne Crawford’s request to apply for two grants from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. One grant will be for the construction of bathrooms at Mansion Beach, and the other will be for the construction of an access walkway at Grace’s Cove. Crawford told the council that the town had applied for the Grace’s Cove grant before, when it applied for the grant to build the walkway at Andy’s Way. That year, the town received the grant for Andy’s Way, but not for Grace’s Cove. Council Member Keith Stover called Grace’s Cove’s access point “a safety hazard,” saying that people with limited mobility just could not access the beach there. Crawford pointed out that the town had already set aside money for the Mansion Beach project, so since DEM asks for applicants to prioritize their requests, she was suggesting the town list Grace’s Cove as it first choice. The grants require a 20 percent match from the recipient, with the Mansion Beach project estimated at $140,000 and the Grace’s Cove project estimated at $220,000.