Chilmark selectmen are voicing concerns about a new health insurance opt-out program for Oak Bluffs town employees.

The program would offer a cash reward of $1,500 to individuals and $3,000 for families who opt out of the town’s health insurance program.

Selectmen said this week that they are wary of the proposal, suggesting that the plan would simply shift health costs to other towns. Chairman Jim Malkin said the cash rewards to transfer plans would only go up as towns fight to keep the health insurance burden out of their budgets.

“I think this could lead to a bonus race,” he said. “I think it’s a very dangerous thing and it does not help the community of Martha’s Vineyard.”

Town treasurer Melanie Becker agreed and added that paying for the transferred health expenses would fall on the town residents. She estimated that the new health expenses would add an extra $40,000 to the town’s fiscal year 2019 budget.

“The net result will be a loss to taxpayers,” she said. “I don’t think in the big picture it’s a way for municipalities to save money on health insurance.”

Selectmen voted to send a letter to Oak Bluffs outlining their concerns. The letter claims that incentivizing employees with the bonus would increase the overall taxpayer cost for municipal health insurance.

“Could we look for a way to equitably share costs rather than each town taking a knee jerk response to your plan and offering increasing financial incentives to employees?” the letter says in part.

The letter notes that open enrollment for choosing health insurance is this month and suggests drawing up a memorandum of understanding between Island towns for sharing costs.

In other business, selectmen declined a request from the Chilmark School to buy a different big toy for the playground than was originally contracted. The new toy would cost $30,000, about $12,000 more than “The Elephant” toy that the town and school had raised money for.

Voters approved $70,000 for the project at the annual town meeting last month in addition to $100,000 raised by community organizations and donors. Town executive secretary Tim Carroll said Chilmark school principal Susan Stevens told him the more expensive toy is what the school originally wanted, but they didn’t think they would raise enough funds to pay for it.

Selectmen voted to have the school stick with the original contract for The Elephant toy.

“We went through a long process to get funding to rebuild the playground,” said Mr. Malkin. “Now they want something bigger. I am not in favor of expanding the project beyond what we worked through.”

“We rewarded the project at a certain price, and we should stick to that,” added selectman Warren Doty.

Selectmen approved the creation of a seven-member subcommittee to facilitate the planning of affordable housing at Peaked Hill Pastures. Community members interested in participating are encouraged to contact the town.

“This could be our last bite of the apple in terms of large chunks of property the town owns,” said selectman Bill Rossi.

Selectmen will begin the hiring process for a new harbor master next January with an anticipated start date of April 1. Harbor master Dennis Jason will step down before the start of next summer.

The annual Menemsha spring walk-around will be held on May 23 at 9 a.m. starting at Menemsha Harbor.