Town hall, school roof lead Oak Bluffs special town meeting

Voters will be asked to come up with $1.3 million more next week to replace Oak Bluffs town offices.

Oak Bluffs is holding a special town meeting and special election next week. The special meeting warrant consists of eight articles concerning roof repairs to the Oak Bluffs School, replacement of damaged pilings at the Harbor Marina Facility, wastewater infrastructure, and a new town hall.

The town approved $9.8 million to build a new town hall at the April 2017 annual town meeting, but the project has been stalled due to two rounds of bids coming in millions of dollars over budget. Town selectmen were divided over the issue, mainly due to cuts made in the initial design. The town is now letting voters decide in a special election whether they want to spend an additional $1.3 million on the project.

The $1.3 million would be funded for 20 years at 3 percent interest. The starting annual cost per $1,000 home valuation would be 3 cents, or $18.33 for the average $600,000 home. Each year the amount would decrease. The average home would end up paying $300 over the course of 20 years.

The warrant also includes a funding article for a new roof and HVAC system at the Oak Bluffs School. The bid price for the project is $7.8 million. The cost per $1,000 home valuation would be 21 cents in the first year, or about $109.95 for the average home.

Town voters will also vote to fund $25,000 of the town’s share of a grant for permeable barriers in Lagoon Pond, in conjunction with Tisbury.

The special town meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 pm at the Oak Bluffs School. The special election will be Thursday, Nov. 15, with polls open from 10 am to 7 pm.