Chilmark agrees to spend $5.9 million
Chilmark voters agreed on a $5.876 million spending plan for fiscal 2007 in a brisk, convivial meeting Monday evening that required only a bit more than an hour to negotiate.
Just 120 of 806 registered voters, or about 15 percent, participated.
Selectman Warren Doty led the meeting in expressing thanks to Catherine Thompson, the retiring director of the town library. Ms. Thompson has been director for 17 years. In response to the applause and the flowers, Ms. Thompson in turn thanked townspeople for their support and interest in the library throughout her tenure.
Chilmark town elections
were held yesterday. Results will be found on mvtimes.com this morning.
The final budget was about $7,000 less than originally requested, thanks chiefly to small reductions in the line items for harbormaster salaries and expenses. The savings were explained to voters by selectman Riggs Parker, who said that some of the reduction was made possible by improvements in the computer systems employed by the harbormaster's department.
Never satisfied, town moderator Everett Poole, who said he anticipated no objection to the reductions the selectman had outlined, asked, "Got some more?"
Mr. Parker said he did not.
Voters approved several transfers from several funds and budget lines to pay for ongoing projects. For instance, a total of $200,000, $132,000 from available funds and $68,000 from transfers from accounts whose previous appropriations have gone unspent, to reduce needed borrowing of $750,000 to repair the West Dock at Menemsha. The dock, known as the Fill Dock, is undergoing repairs now. Mr. Parker reported that the steel perimeter of the dock is now replaced - and "just in time," he said, given the extent of deterioration - and the resurfacing and the carway out to the dock will soon be accomplished. The target completion date is Memorial Day.
At the suggestion of Jay Lagemann, voters stiffened bylaw penalties for faulty alarm systems that call for police, EMT, or fire department assistance when none is needed. The proposal was for penalties of $100 for the first offence and $150 for each subsequent offence; the existing schedule of penalties was more complicated and less onerous. Mr. Lagemann proposed that for second and subsequent offenses the penalty should begin at $150 and rise $50 on each additional malfunction. Town counsel advised that state law caps the fines for such bylaw infractions at $300, so voters agreed that the charge should rise by $50, but only till the cap is reached. Toting up the false alarms is done on a calendar-year basis.
Voters approved a proposal to allow the Tri-town Ambulance to begin charging for the transport services it provides. Charges will in most cases be equal to the allowances agreed to by health insurers.
Voters approved every article but one on the annual meeting warrant, all by voice votes declared unanimous by Mr. Poole. The next to the last article, which asked for $684 to pay a prior year's MEDEX bill was indefinitely postponed. The charge was forgiven by the vendor at the town's request, according to notes furnished to voters by Tim Carroll, the executive secretary.