Tisbury voters agreed to spend some $650,000 on community preservation act projects but turned down a $1.3 million spending measure for a new connector road in the second session of their annual town meeting Wednesday. The meeting concluded just before 10 p.m.
This marks the second year in a row for the connector road project to fail, even though the cost was cut down from last year. The article saw some support but at 69-66 the count failed to achieve a needed two-thirds majority.
Michael Loberg argued against the road, calling it worthy but ill-timed in light of other critical town capital project needs, such as the aging elementary school.
“I won’t speak to the why or the how; I trust our people to have done their work,” Mr. Loberg said. “I would speak, though, to our ability to approve it today.”
But Bruce Llewelyn, a member of the finance committee, countered as a proponent.
“This is the one item before you that can tie borrowing to the prospect of . . . increasing tax revenue of the town,” he said.
Voters also threw a wet blanket on early design work for a new building for the Vineyard schools superintendent by rejecting a request for $36,500, their share of spending for the project. The vote was 81-55. The project is planned for the high school campus and every Island town is being asked to contribute to funding for early designs.
Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury approved their shares at their annual town meetings Tuesday.
Tisbury opened its meeting Tuesday night with 225 voters and reconvened Wednesday with a smaller group of 157 voters.
A $21.4 million town operating budget was approved as was a large package of spending from the ferry embarkation fee, green lighting the town to use $243,000 for six projects that include dock repairs at Owen Park, a new police cruiser, a new fire truck and a downtown beautification project.
A $20,000 spendng article for extensive repairs and cleaning to the Causeway Road runoff basin was approved.
Voters also agreed to help a county courthouse window replacement project, although West Tisbury voters dealt a blow to the project the night before by rejecting their portion of spending on it.
A $500,000 project to dredge the town harbor entrance and Lake Tashmoo inlet won approval after lengthy discussion.
And an $850,000 article to repaint the town standpipe passed unanimously with no discussion.