Finances dominate Oak Bluffs special town meeting warrant


Oak Bluffs voters will be asked to take action mostly on money matters when they gather for a special town meeting at 7 pm Tuesday at the Oak Bluffs School.

The 15-article warrant covers vendor bills, money for infrastructure improvements, paying off short-term debt, and changing town hall hours of operation and town employee policy.

Voters will be asked to approve three expenditures of Community Preservation Act funds, totaling $385,000 — $5,000 for a feasibility study for a permeable barrier on Lagoon Pond, $230,000 for the North Bluff Seawall project, and $100,000 to make the revamped Niantic Park compliant with federal accessibility laws.

A $47,000 transfer from available funds for the town’s first payment on the purchase of the former VNA building for the new Center for Living will be up for a vote. The purchase was approved at April town meeting.

Payment of short-term debt to save on long-term bond issues will be presented for approval, in large part using better-than-expected revenues from the harbor fueling facility to pay for the harbor fueling facility itself; as well as a town hall feasibility study and a fire department feasibility study.

A request to transfer $30,000 of leftover funds from the beach railing account to pay for new beach stairs at Samoset Avenue will be up for a vote.

A change in town personnel policy, extending the probationary period of new hires from three months to six months and extending eligibility for health insurance from 60 days to 90 days, will be considered. Voters will also be asked to endorse a change in town hall closing time from 4:30 pm to 4 pm.

Voters will also be asked to approve a name change, from the now defunct “Resident Homesite Committee” to the “Oak Bluffs Affordable Housing Trust.” Selectman Kathy Burton, who is also on the Affordable Housing Committee, said the article is “purely housekeeping.”

Selectman Walter Vail said he anticipated a relatively quick and cordial gathering. “I would think this will go quickly and smoothly,” he said.