Chilmark selectmen approve annual town meeting warrant, budget

Chilmark selectmen approve annual town meeting warrant, budget

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Chilmark selectmen Tuesday approved a 21-article annual town meeting warrant that includes a $7,654,498 budget for fiscal year 2012, up 8.6 percent from the budget for the current year. The budget includes $2,698,372 for education, a 12.3-percent increase.

The annual town meeting is April 23, and the annual town election is April 25.

Town accountant Emily Day said that town departments tried to budget conservatively this year. Not counting education and the increase in debt service, much of that tied to the cost of repairing the town pier, the remainder of the budget is up 2.3 percent, she said.

The biggest portion of the budget is the $2.69 million for education, which represents 35.3 percent of the overall budget. Employee benefits and contributions total $827,541, or 10.8 percent of the budget, followed by the police department at $598,405, or 7.8 percent of the budget.

Selectmen met with the finance committee in recent weeks to discuss individual line items in the budget. They last met with the finance committee on February 29, when they approved the final budget.

Selectmen Tuesday also approved two override ballot questions for the town elections, both related to the Massachusetts Estuaries Project.

Selectmen also agreed to add a non-binding question on the ballot asking town voters if they wanted to see a roundabout built at the Blinker intersection in Oak Bluffs. Similar questions are expected to appear on the ballots of all six Island towns.

Almost all of the 21 articles on the warrant are finance related.