Tisbury voters will kick off town meeting season next week when they are asked to consider restoring the Tashmoo Spring building, the 19th-century structure that served as the hub of the first waterworks system on the Island.
The article about the historic brick building is one of 12 non-appropriating articles that voters will take up at special town meeting next Tuesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tisbury School gymnasium. Guiding the debate will be town moderator Deborah Medders.
Annual town meeting - where voters weigh in on the budget and big ticket items - is scheduled for the following Tuesday, April 5.
Town administrator John Bugbee this week said selectmen and town officials are interested in how voters feel about this old building, which has deteriorated significantly in recent years.
"We want to gauge the public interest. Obviously the town has a lot of needs in infrastructure and I would consider the building one of them," Mr. Bugbee said. "It is a historic building and a number of people have expressed an interest. It will take a significant amount of effort, time and funds."
While the warrant also contains a number of routine housekeeping articles, voters also will have a chance to point the town in new directions.
Voters will be asked to approve the lease of town-owned land, formerly the Tisbury septage lagoons, as commercial storage space. A separate article that proposes a zoning change to allow the storage of privately owned equipment on municipal property also must be approved for the town to be able to rent the space.
Mr. Bugbee said the two articles submitted by the selectmen and supported by the finance and advisory committee are intended to "bring additional revenue to the town in an area that is now vacant."
Voters will have a chance to approve the personnel board's annual salary increase for nonunion employees, mostly department heads. Article nine calls for salary increases for employees ranging from the town administrator and police chief across to the shellfish constable. The personnel board is calling for a three per cent increase for this year.
Environmentally conscious voters will have an opportunity to endorse alternative energy efforts on the Vineyard by voting for the renewable energy Island resolution. The article is being considered in all other towns. Its intent is to encourage the development and implementation of a clear and comprehensive energy plan for the Island.
Dog owners will want to weigh in on an amendment to the town leash law - which would essentially allow dogs to run freely in a town-owned dog park. Town officials are currently looking for land on which to site just such a park.