Oak Bluffs special town meeting Tuesday

—MV Times

At 7 pm on Tuesday, Oak Bluffs voters will be asked to take up a six-article warrant at a special town meeting, which will take place at the Performing Arts Center at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. 

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. 

The first of the two articles, which was put forth by the select board and the affordable housing committee and also unanimously recommended by the finance and advisory board, is to decide whether to release the County Road site to the affordable housing committee “for the purpose of entering into a long-term lease with a developer to create mixed-income housing.” The housing will be set for affordable housing for veterans, but has the “potential” for additional affordable or workforce housing. 

The second article refers to whether the town agrees to “take whatever action is needed to authorize or approve the action by the Oak Bluffs Municipal Housing Trust” to request proposals for the aforementioned project. The development is projected to feature 60-65 units to the town’s subsidized housing inventory. 

Article three discusses 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. The article, recommended by the select board, was unanimously supported by the finance and advisory board.

The fourth article will ask town voters to 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. This item was put forth by the select board supported by the finance and advisory board in a 7-0 vote with one abstention. 

Voters will be asked to vote on whether to adopt the regional agreement for the funding of a new high school. In order to secure funding from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), an additional vote, no later than April, will be required. The fifth article, recommended by the school committee and select board, was supported by the finance and advisory board in a 5-2 vote with one abstention. 

Recommended by the finance and advisory board and the harbormaster, the sixth warrant article up for vote is in regard to a transfer of $35,000 from the waterways account to go toward harbor maintenance and “the replacement of pilings, floats, and moorings.” 


  1. Will someone tell me why it’s necessary to spend 300K to assess the condition of town-owned properties and buildings, and decide how to plan and prioritize their repairs and maintenance?
    Shouldn’t these decisions be largely self-evident from a building’s age, or obvious leaks, or a beach wall’s premature rusting, for examples? Don’t the building department, or the highway department, or water department, or other town officials on the scene on a daily basis already have a responsibility to keep an eye on the condition and upkeep of each structure and system?

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