$12.5 million Chilmark budget goes to voters

Chilmark voters will convene for the annual town meeting on April 25. — Rich Saltzberg

Chilmark voters will convene on Monday, April 25, for the annual town meeting and then return to cast their votes at the polls on Wednesday, April 27, for the annual town election. Town meeting begins at 7 pm at the Chilmark Community Center and the election will run from 12 to 8 pm, also at the community center. 

Voters will be asked at town meeting to approve a $12.5 million Fiscal ‘23 budget and whether or not to support a Martha’s Vineyard housing bank. They will be asked if they want to spend $250,000 on the first phase of a public works garage at the town landfill and if they’ll back $20,000 to update the town’s master plan. 

Among other expenditures, voters will be asked to consider $52,000 for a hybrid SUV for the police department, $30,000 for roof repairs to the police station, and $9,000 for a fire department drone.

At the annual town election, voters will be asked to weigh in on two Proposition 2½ debt exclusions. Question 2, according to town administrator Tim Carroll, seeks to ratify an extra $1.3 million in funds recently approved at a special town meeting for the $12.6 million fire station and Tri-Town Ambulance headquarters projects. The other debt exclusion, Question 3, concerns a new HVAC system for the Chilmark School. The principle sum requested is $950,000, according to treasurer Dawn Barnes. Barnes said the figure was voted in at a special town meeting in November 2021. Carroll said the two figures aren’t included on the ballot because of state statute. He said the HVAC figure doesn’t include interest and the timeframe costs associated with paying the interest. 

Select board chair Jim Malkin is running unopposed for another three-year term. No candidates appear on the ballot for a three-year seat on the cemetery commission. Additionally, no candidates are listed for a one-year and a three-year position as surveyor of wood, lumber, and bark and for a three-year seat for fence viewer. No one is listed as a candidate for town treasurer as well. However, the select board hired former West Tisbury principal assessor Dawn Barnes as the town’s new treasurer over the winter. Question 1 on the ballot seeks to transform the position of treasurer from elected to appointed.