Town meeting season comes to an end as Aquinnah gathers for its meeting Tuesday; the town will have the final say in whether to pay for the purchase of a new Center for Living for Island seniors. Every town so far has agreed to the purchase, which needs Islandwide approval.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Old Town Hall, following a special town meeting at 6:45 p.m. Town moderator Michael Hebert will preside over the sessions. There are 23 articles on the annual town meeting warrant and five on the special town meeting warrant.

Among the special town meeting items is a request for $15,000 to pay for a space needs assessment for the town hall campus and $2,284 for the balance of the town’s high school assessment for last year. Voters also will be asked to approve $15,000 in Community Preservation Act funds for stone wall work at the Gay Head Light and $12,000 in CPA funds for a boardwalk at the Aquinnah Circle.

Chief Randhi Belain and Sgt. Paul Manning with the new Polaris Ranger Utility Vehicle. — Courtesy Aquinnah Police

On the annual warrant, the Center for Living request would authorize Dukes County to issue a bond of up to $1.6 million to buy and improve the former Vineyard Nursing Association building in Tisbury. Aquinnah’s share of the debt for fiscal year 2016 would be $7,280.

Town administrator Adam Wilson said this week he thought the article had a good chance of passing. “It’s survived the other five towns as far as being voted upon,” he said. “I don’t think Aquinnah is going to say no.”

At the annual town election on Wednesday, voters will decide whether to approve a $120,000 tax override to fund the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School operating budget. Also on the ballot are three debt exclusion questions related to the Center for Living purchase, a proposal for a new high school administration building and the town’s purchase of two properties near the Gay Head Light.

Voters agreed last fall to spend $590,000 to buy the two properties at the Circle, known collectively as the Manning-Murray property, with $290,000 from community preservation funds and $300,000 to be borrowed. The properties would be used for open space, recreation or other municipal purposes. Mr. Wilson said because the project involves a loan, there was the option of applying a debt exclusion. He pointed out that the exclusion would raise the town’s tax rate, but only for the life of the loan.

The community preservation committee itself has several requests on the warrant this year, including:

• $31,630 to help pay for the Manning-Murray property.

• $60,000 to contribute to the relocation and restoration of the Gay Head Light.

• $11,300 for costs related to the acquisition of the Edwin DeVries Vanderhoop Homestead at the Aquinnah Circle.

• $24,720 for costs related to the purchase of a property on State Road for affordable housing.

The town’s $4.1 million annual budget this year marks an increase of 6.04 per cent over last year, due partly to a 131 per cent increase in acquired debt. “The Manning-Murray property is the primary culprit,” Mr. Wilson said.

Other budget increases resulted from more students from Aquinnah attending the regional high school. The overall education budget grew about 11 per cent, to just over $1.25 million.

Selectman Jim Newman said keeping ahead of the rising costs of education and the Tri-Town Ambulance Service were among his priorities in the coming years.

“We have been very careful,” he said. “But the school budget has been astronomical and that’s what hurts us.”

Ambulance services this year increased 28.26 per cent, to $251,920. Mr. Wilson said the increase was due to the addition of a new paramedic and relatively few ambulance runs during the year, which meant a decrease in revenue.

The regional district school committee’s request to fund a new high school administration building has already been defeated in Tisbury, West Tisbury and Chilmark. Concerns arose this spring over the high cost of the project, an overall lack of information and the ongoing needs of Island school buildings. The $3.9 million project would have required Islandwide approval.

Aquinnah’s vote on the project will be mostly symbolic, since a 60-day window for towns to weigh in has already passed. “I think by default Aquinnah has already said yes, but we are putting it on the ballot anyway,” Mr. Wilson said.

Also on the warrant, the Aquinnah police department is requesting $4,900 to equip a new utility terrain vehicle (UTV) that was recently acquired through a grant from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, based in Jacksonville, Fla. Police sergeant Paul Manning, who wrote the application, said the $13,662 vehicle has a built-in stretcher and two front seats, and would allow for “rapid response to any beach emergency.” It will eventually replace the town’s current all-terrain vehicle, which is 10 years old. The Aquinnah police department will be the first police department on the Island to have a UTV. The Chilmark and West Tisbury fire departments also have them.

Aquinnah police chief Randhi Belain said the department got the idea from the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), which also has a UTV, although that vehicle does not have a full-length stretcher. He added that the two front seats would come in handy during remote beach rescues: “We found that usually there is somebody who when we take them off the beach, they have a friend or a relative, so you can put them in the front seat,” the chief said.