It’s that time of year again. Towns around the Island are preparing for their annual town meetings.
Edgartown’s annual town meeting has no shortage of warrant articles with 85 in total. The special town meeting includes another 11 articles, including the creation of a Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank.
Last year, town voters overwhelmingly approved $1.2 million to repair the Katama Airfield hangar at town meeting, but a recount that resulted in a 468-468 tie vote at the ballot prevented the repairs from being done.
This year, town voters will once again decide whether to fund the repairs, which come at a reduced cost of $950,000. Voters would have to approve a Proposition 2 ½ debt exclusion with a two-thirds vote at town meeting and then approve the measure at the town election on April 11. Town administrator James Hagerty told The Times, if approved, the funding would likely have a $140,600 principal and interest payment in the first year of a 10-year payback plan.
A Proposition 2½ debt exclusion raises property taxes for a temporary period of time to fund a specific capital project. A Proposition 2½ override is similar, but it increases property taxes indefinitely, and is usually for an ongoing expense the town needs to fund now and in the future.
The three other articles that need both town meeting and ballot approval are $900,000 to restore the stone bulkhead and wooden walkways at the harbor master building, $400,000 for work on town streets, and $350,000 for building and repairs of town sidewalks, bike paths, and storm drainage.
Other funding articles include $286,145 to fund part of a feasibility study for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, $200,000 for the planning and creation of a park at the Yellow House, $120,000 for the town’s 25 percent share of reconstruction to the Katama launch and landing, and $46,000 to pay for the Fourth of July fireworks.
The Edgartown town meeting will take place at the Old Whaling Church on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 pm. The annual election will be held on April 11 from 10 am to 7 pm in the town hall meeting room.