Chilmark voters make quick work of special town meeting

Menemsha, and a bit of Aquinnah, lies across Menemsha Creek from Lobsterville. Officials from the two towns are trying to sort out the taxing puzzle. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

It took Chilmark voters just 21 minutes to dispose of 15 articles on the special town meeting warrant Monday evening at the Chilmark Community Center, though several of the most important issues were put off.

At the request of selectmen, voters indefinitely postponed a vote on whether to change the town boundary line between Chilmark and Aquinnah, which currently runs through some of the buildings next to Menemsha Creek. Selectmen said they are still meeting with their counterparts in Aquinnah to work out the issues.

Also postponed were two requested appropriations totalling $43,500 to replace and insulate the wood floor of the community center. Selectmen want to further evaluate the structure to see whether replacement is the best option.

Voters were asked to authorize a total of $55,000 for new concrete dock pilings in Menemsha harbor. They reduced the amount of the appropriation to $46,000, after learning there is less money available in the waterways improvement account than previously thought. They also voted to remove the word “concrete” before approving the work.

Voters gave a green light to a new harbormaster’s office in Menemsha, estimated to cost $24,000. Voters approved $55,000 for property revaluation, mandated every three years; $100,000 to partially fund health care costs for future retirees; and transferred $30,000 for a new emergency vehicle for the Tri-Town Ambulance service.

They voted to approve money to maintain and repair roads ($23,000); repair the HVAC system in town hall ($5,000), and purchase fireproof storage cabinets for town records ($6,000).

A total of 47 voters were officially counted for the 7:30 pm special town meeting, 5.2 percent of the town’s 910 registered voters.