Donaroma’s Nursery and Landscaping Services, owned by Edgartown Board President-elect Michael Donaroma, in the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Business Park may be facing eviction.
During Thursday afternoon’s airport commission meeting, airport director Geoff Freeman shared the various issues they’ve had with Donaroma’s Nursery and Landscaping. Several tenants had problems, such as neglect of business requirements, inactivity or lack of insurance. Airport property manager Kevin Brennan had to work for several years to get things in order, Freeman says.
“We have one tenant who constantly did not insure his property for us. These are Donarom’s nursery and landscaping services. We were approaching the company because of the insurance that expired in July 2022,” said Freeman. “We arrived in September, November, December.”
The default letter was sent on Dec. 12 and there was no response as of Thursday, according to Freeman. “We still have an outstanding issue of some of the company’s materials about the airport property, not its leased property,” Freeman continued. “A significant part of that was resolved to some degree after a couple of calls where he was on a property that has since been rented to someone else.”
However, Brennan said there is still “a lot of debris and material on what is designated as airport property.” According to Brennan, a non-payment notice was sent in April 2021 and the cleanup began, but has since stopped.
Freeman said while the airport is trying to work with its tenants and understands that change can’t happen right away, “in situations like this where it’s gone too far,” working with legal counsel for an eviction if the terms of the lease aren’t followed would be the next step. .
Failure to enforce the lease could potentially have a “domino effect” with other tenants, Freeman said. Donaroma also reached out directly about the issue. “It’s frustrating that it’s taking time for Kevin and the airport to look for a simple document that can be resolved within minutes,” Freeman said.
Commissioner Jack Ensor asked when a request for proposal (RFP) could be issued, although the situation is not yet at that stage. Freeman said seeking more legal counsel is the approach to take at this time. “This is not something we do all the time, obviously, and we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing,” Freeman said.
Freeman said he did not want to go into further details at this time because Donaroma was not present to speak on his behalf. “We have basic data. Maybe we should wait and see [what] the process is with our legal group and you will have an update next month,” said commission chairman Bob Rosenbaum. “I hope this will be resolved [to] everyone’s pleasure.”
Donaroma was not immediately available for comment.
In other news, the Commission unanimously approved the signing of an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant agreement with Dukes County. The airport is considering replacing the control tower and planning a feasibility study to upgrade the terminal.
The committee plans to explore the creation of a scholarship fund in the name of Doug West, who passed away in December. West was a private pilot and the husband of MV Times proofreader Irene Ziebarth.
The commission approved the minutes of the October 13 executive session with a 5-0 vote. However, the Commission voted not to publish them yet. Ensor was reticent because he didn’t have a chance to read it. The executive session was held “for discussion [strategy] with respect to PFAS litigation” with individuals relevant to the issue, including Tetra Tech Vice President Ron Myrick and the legal team from Boston law firm Anderson & Kreiger.