Change is in the air in Oak Bluffs, where voters next week will decide whether to build a new town hall, begin expanding the town sewer system, ban plastic bags in checkout lines, and move forward on efforts to limit the use of mopeds.

The annual town meeting begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, at the Martha’s Vineyard High School Performing Arts Center. Town moderator Jack Law will preside over the session. There are 48 articles on the warrant.

A $29.3 million budget for the fiscal year marks about a three per cent increase over last year, due largely to increases in school spending and health insurance for town employees. The finance committee has unanimously endorsed the budget.

If approved, a new town hall could be completed in 2018. — Mark Lovewell

The selectmen are asking voters to transfer $550,000 from free cash into the town stabilization fund, bringing the total to just over $1.5 million. Town administrator Robert Whritenour said the new money resulted from an increase in tax revenue last year and would allow the town to meet its longstanding goal of having the stabilization fund total five per cent of the overall budget.

More than a decade after planning for the new town hall began, voters will decide whether to borrow $9.88 million to complete the project. The town voted to fund the project in 2014, but a required debt exclusion that year failed at the ballot. Mr. Whritenour said a revised plan and budget fits in with the town’s long-term plans to reduce overall debt. With voter approval, he said, the project could be completed by 2018.

Building inspector Mark Barbadoro has listed 13 deficiencies with the current town hall (formerly an elementary school) including water damage, a malfunctioning air conditioning system, crumbling drywall and pipes and floor tiles that may contain asbestos.

The town hall request requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. A related debt exclusion will be decided at the annual election April 13. Spending requests related to sewering this year total $870,000, including $350,000 for a comprehensive wastewater management plan, and $400,000 for planning and design related to improving the wastewater treatment plant on Pennsylvania avenue. The requests mark the beginning of an estimated $38 million plan over five years to increase capacity at the treatment plant and extend the sewer lines. Three articles on the town meeting warrant, and one on the ballot relate to mopeds, reflecting a renewed push since last summer to tighten regulations surrounding moped rentals and increase safety on Island roads.

The Mopeds are Dangerous Action Committee has submitted two articles and a ballot question by petition, including a proposal to revoke the licenses of three moped rental companies in town “due to repeated violations and lack of enforcement” under the town’s 2004 moped bylaw.

A nonbinding article and identical ballot question ask voters if they would support eliminating rental mopeds on Martha’s Vineyard altogether.

A study group that included public safety officials, town administrators and others has proposed several amendments to the moped bylaw. The revised version would require licensees to train their customers on an onsite track, and to require that both operators and passengers have appropriate footwear. Selectmen could waive the onsite track requirement based on spacial constraints, as long as the licensee offers an alternative. Companies would also need to post the maximum operating weight for every model available for rent, and would not be allowed to rent two-seaters to adults accompanied by children who are less than four feet eight inches tall.

Two different plastic bag ban bylaws are on the warrant. — Mark Lovewell

Plastic bags are also in the crosshairs this year, with two competing bylaws to limit their use in checkout lines. A proposal by the Vineyard Conservation Society would ban the use of single-use plastic bags thinner than four thousandths of an inch, while an alternative proposal by members of the business community would set a more lenient

threshold. The alternative also includes a provision to allow businesses to defer for up to a year at a time, with board of health approval.

Every Island town except Oak Bluffs adopted the VCS ban at its annual town meeting last year, with the Oak Bluffs selectmen tabling the proposal for further study.

“That will probably be a pretty good discussion,” Mr. Whritenour said of the two articles, adding that it would be up to the town moderator to decide how to handle a vote. “Obviously, if you have two bylaws that say two different things, you can’t pass them both,” Mr. Whritenour said. “So we’re going to have to figure out how to handle that.”

Public safety requests this year total $167,200, including $85,000 for new firefighting gear, and $68,000 for refurbishing a town ambulance.

One public safety concern in recent months has been the historic Island Theatre, which has stood vacant for years and is now in danger of falling down. Voters will be asked to allocate $200,000 from free cash for interior bracing as a temporary fix while the owners pursue options for redevelopment. “The town intends to file a lien for full recovery of costs for making the building safe,” according to the article.

The town finance committee has voted not to recommend funding the town’s $18,320 assessment for First Stop, an Islandwide information and referral service managed by Martha’s Vineyard Community Services. Members of the finance committee and Oak Bluffs Council on Aging have argued that the program duplicates services offered by both the town and the state. But Healthy Aging Martha’s Vineyard, which spearheaded the program two years ago, along with MVCS, says the program offers the only comprehensive listing of Island services.

Three articles on the town meeting warrant, and one on the ballot, relate to mopeds. — Mark Lovewell

A total of $693,815 in Community Preservation Act funds would support 15 projects related to open space, recreation, historic preservation and community housing, with an additional $100,000 this year slated for community housing grants.

Proposed zoning changes on the warrant include the establishment of an overlay district to limit the location of non-medical marijuana dispensaries, which could give the town a head start on planning while the state works on regulations of its own. And a series of other bylaw amendments aims in part to make it easier to develop apartments above stores. Mr. Whritenour said it was likely too soon for a vote on the latter, since the planning board has yet to hold a public hearing on the proposal. “It will probably get a lot more discussion and then come back,” he said.

The town ballot on April 13 includes a nonbinding question asking voters if they would support the idea of a regional housing bank (akin to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank) to support affordable housing on the Island. A similar question appears on every town meeting warrant this spring, with the exception of Edgartown, whose selectmen had questioned an earlier version of the article that targeted CPA funding.

The annual election is April 13 in the Oak Bluffs Library meeting room. Brian Packish is vying for a seat on the board of selectmen, with incumbents Walter Vail and Michael Santoro both up for reelection. Timothy Peters and Thomas Zinno are seeking an open seat on the board of health. Polls are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.