Tisbury voters face big-ticket items

School, roadwork, and other items up for votes on June 12 and 13.

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Tisbury School will be the focus of a single-item special town meeting on Sunday, June 13, at 1 pm. The town hopes to complete the rest of its business a day earlier. -Rich Saltzberg

When Tisbury voters convene on Sunday, June 13, at 1 pm on the grounds of the Tisbury School, the only business will be a special town meeting devoted solely to the $55 million Tisbury School renovation and addition project. A little more than $53 million of the Proposition 2½ debt exclusion is devoted to the construction project, while the remainder will pay for temporary classroom space.

The project will be presented to voters by the school building committee, the select board, school committee, and representatives of Tappé, the project architect.

The addition and renovation would cost taxpayers 10 percent more for 30 years, according to finance director Jon Snyder. The owner of residential property valued at $682,300 — Tisbury’s median — would pay an additional $635 annually in property taxes.

While the school is the big-ticket item, it’s far from the only business ahead for Tisbury voters.

The town has also scheduled its annual town meeting and a second special town meeting for Saturday, June 12, at 1 pm on the Tisbury School grounds. The town meeting warrants are online at the town’s website.

During the special town meeting on June 12, voters will consider 16 warrant articles, including a provision to allow firefighters to work beyond the mandatory retirement age of 65 years. The special legislation is something requested by Fire Chief Greg Leland because of the difficulty recruiting new firefighters, and because some of his employees aren’t ready to hang up their fire gear at 65.

Several zoning bylaw amendments are also up for consideration; one would specify days and times in the noise, illumination, and odors bylaw. The town will also consider the nonbinding article that includes aspirational goals in response to climate change. The goals include reducing fossil-fuel use on the Island by 50 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2040, as well increasing the Island’s renewable energy to 100 percent by 2040.

The annual town meeting warrant includes 34 articles, featuring the town operating budget of $30.3 million and other spending plans. Along with the school question, voters will also be asked to approve a $5 million Proposition 2½ debt exclusion to pay for road and drainage work. Voters will have a voice in how to spend the town’s embarkation funds (money from a Steamship Authority surcharge on tickets), as well as more than a dozen projects proposed by the Community Preservation committee, whose funds come from a surcharge on property taxes. One of the items is $200,000 for roof replacement at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs.

Harbormaster John Crocker and shellfish constable Danielle Ewart are asking for a natural resources assistant who will be shared between the two departments. The Tisbury select board was lukewarm about the position at first, and then approved it upon further consideration.

Town meeting is also where voters get a say on more than a half-dozen capital purchases, including $120,000 for the library to pay for a new HVAC system.

Voters will also be asked to approve the town’s share of regional costs for Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, as well as $72,000 for the town’s share of two electric school buses.

According to an order of the board of health, voters will have to wear masks to the meeting.

 

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