Public Services

Economic Development - Public ServicesOne aspect of the Vineyard’s economy is the public services delivered by towns, the County, and other public entities. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development offers programs to support efforts to share and improve the delivery of public services, in order to improve the quality of these services and/or to reduce costs.

The MVC has carried out several studies and been involved in several efforts to assist towns in promoting this goal, including the following.
  • Cost of Community Services: This 2000 study provided a breakdown of town revenues and expenditures for a single fiscal year and classified those revenues and expenditures by specific land use categories: business/commercial/industrial, residential, and farm/open space.  The study indicated that for every dollar generated from residential property, towns on average spent $1.18 on community services (e.g. education, government, public safety, health and human services), while for every dollar generated from commercial property $0.57 was spent on services on commercial land use, and likewise for farm/open space $0.49 was spent for every dollar generated in revenue.
  • Analysis of the Delivery of Public Services on Martha’s Vineyard: Regional Services Study: This 2010 study by the Collins Center of management inventoried what existing services are delivered at various levels of local and regional government; identified what type of entity presently provides the service and the approximate budget and manpower, identified possible criteria optimizing the level of service delivery, identified the services that appear to be good candidates for considering changing the method of delivery, applied the criteria to the list of services noting specific services that show promise, and identified which services have been successfully delivered in an alternative way in other localities including the possibility of contracting out certain services.
  • Oak Bluffs and Tisbury Regional Public Safety Service Study: This 2011 study looked at the possibility of the two towns consolidating their police departments.
  • Martha's Vineyard Wastewater Management: This 2010 study by Wright Pierce aimed at assisting the six Island towns in wastewater management planning by preparing information related to the preparation of one or more comprehensive wastewater management plans, given that the watersheds of coastal ponds typically span two or more towns, so regional solutions are needed.
  • Solid Waste Management Consolidation Study: This 2011 study looked at the possibility of consolidating the Island’s two refuse districts.
  • Development Permitting Processes on Martha's Vineyard: This 2008 study looked at current permitting practices on Martha's Vineyard with a view to identifying possible improvements, which might be considered by towns and/or the MVC.

Office location:

Office location:

The Stone Building
33 New York Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

Telephone: 508-693-3453
Fax: 508-693-7894

Mailing Address

Mailing address:

Martha's Vineyard Commission
P.O. Box 1447
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

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