Chilmark approves extra project funds

Tri-Town Ambulance Chief Ben Retmier guides a voter through the plans for the new ambulance facility. -Rich Saltzberg

Chilmark voters approved an extra $1.3 million for an impending project that will provide the town a new fire station and a first ever Tri-Town Ambulance headquarters. Voters unanimously amended the $1.2 million figure on the warrant, adding $100,000 on a motion from select board chair Jim Malkin.​​ Prior to the special town meeting, the town had already approved $12.6 for the project. 

Malkin said previously the amount was anticipated to have a 15 cent impact on Chilmark’s tax rate. That boosted sum would bring that “to somewhere between 15 and 16 cents,” Malkin said. 

Mike Owen, a senior project manager at CHA Consulting (formerly Daedulus), owner’s project manager for the project, told voters the extra funds are a necessary hedge against a construction landscape beset by the pandemic, inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages. 

Owen said the industry has seen “incredible increases” in materials such as steel up 127 percent, diesel fuel up 55 percent, and lumber up 18 percent. 

Town administrator Tim Carroll said the additional funds were not only contingency funds but needed to ensure the town can bankroll a clerk of the works. 

Select board member Warren Doty told voters the town lauded all the work fellow select board member and building committee chair Bill Rossi had put into the long awaited project. 

Doty said the town expects to sign a contract with the general contractor on Monday. He also said demolition of the old fire station was imminent. 

Prior to addressing the one-article warrant, town moderator Janet Weidner held a moment of silence for former longtime moderator Everett Poole who died in February.