Town meeting warrant set in Edgartown

At their Monday meeting, Edgartown selectmen approved a 68-article annual town meeting warrant that includes a $27.5 million operating budget. The warrant also asks voters to appropriate money for 1.5 percent cost-of-living raises for town employees, to take a significant step toward building a new library, and consider a new bylaw limiting construction noise. It also includes three Proposition 2.5 questions covering infrastructure repair and maintenance.

Selectmen set Tuesday, April 12, for the annual town meeting. It is scheduled to begin at 7 pm, at the Old Whaling Church.

The proposed fiscal year 2012 operating budget represents a 2.7 percent increase over last year, according to the financial advisory committee. That figure is somewhat skewed because it includes funding for the town-owned dredge. In past years voters funded the dredge through an override question.

The 1.5 percent cost of living increase totals $93,500. The pay hikes come in addition to any step raises due according to the town’s compensation schedule.

The town will ask voters for Proposition 2.5 overrides totaling $293,000, including $140,000 for resurfacing and rebuilding town streets, $55,000 for repairing sidewalks, bike paths, and storm water drainage, and $98,000 to buy a backhoe for the highway department.

The library article authorizes selectmen to accept and spend any state or federal grants to build a new library. The library building committee submitted the article. The town has applied for $6.4 million in state funds to pay for part of an $11 million library project on the site of the old Edgartown School. The warrant does not spell out how the town will raise the remaining $4.6 million. That amount will likely come from some combination of taxpayer appropriations and private donations.

The new noise bylaw would limit construction to the hours of 7 am and 8 pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and prohibit construction noise on Sundays and most holidays. The proposed bylaw defines construction as any activity that requires a building permit, as well as site preparation, earth removal, and the building, repair, or demolition of streets or structures.