Warrant approved for O.B. special town meeting

Oak Bluffs set the warrant for an upcoming special town meeting. -MV Times

At an Oak Bluffs special town meeting on Nov. 1, voters will take up a six-article warrant that was approved by the select board Tuesday evening. 

The first two articles refer to the veterans affordable housing project, initially slated for 518 County Road. Because of issues with the site’s title, it was recommended by the Oak Bluffs affordable housing committee to instead be located on a 3.4-acre lot at 50 Belleview Ave. 

Town residents will also be asked to vote whether to establish a capital stabilization fund to be funded by town’s free cash with the aim of “planning for and addressing the long-term maintenance requirements of town capital assets.” The distribution of said funds would require further vote at special or annual town meetings, with a two-thirds majority for the appropriation for specific uses. 

Voters will decide whether to appropriate $300,000 toward conducting assessments of all town-owned buildings and their existing condition, in order to determine how best to plan and prioritize maintenance, repairs, or renovations over the next 20 years.

Recommended by the finance and advisory board and the harbormaster, an article regarding a transfer of $35,000 from the waterways account to go toward harbor maintenance and “the replacement of pilings, floats, and moorings,” will also be up for discussion. 

After lengthy deliberation Tuesday evening, the select board decided that Oak Bluffs voters will be the first town to take up discussion of the amended Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School formula agreement in order to fund a proposed new high school. An additional vote, no later than April, will be required in order to secure funding through Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

Resisting initial hesitation, the board ultimately agreed to lead the way in moving forward with the massive project. “We were the ones that pushed this to the table to effect change,” said select board chair Ryan Ruley on behalf of Oak Bluffs. 

The special town meeting will be held at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) on Nov. 1 at 7 pm.