For the second time in three months, bids to build a new town hall in Oak Bluffs have come in well above available funds, leaving town leaders scrambling for a solution.

The town hall building committee will recommend that the selectmen return to voters at a special town meeting this fall to request an additional $1.3 million for construction of the new building.

“For us to proceed, we’ve got to go back to the voters,” town hall building committee chairman Bill McGrath said this week.

In June, after a lone bid came in well above the $7.8 million appropriated by voters for the new town hall, town officials returned to their architect and removed $1.7 million worth of design features to reduce the cost of construction.

Cost savings were achieved by eliminating a basement and roof dormer and using less expensive materials for finish work inside the building. The town also separated out demolition of the old town hall, with the intention of bidding that out to local contractors at a lower cost.

A request for proposals went out, but even with the design changes when two new bids were opened on Sept. 13, there was disappointing news.

One bid submitted by Dellbrook/JKS, a company with offices in Falmouth and Quincy which has constructed several public buildings on the Island, came in at $9.28 million. Dellbrook/JKS was the lone bidder in the previous round of bidding. A second bid from Maron Construction, based in Providence, R.I., came in at $9.22 million.

The difference between the low bid and available funds is about $1.3 million.

The building committee met the following day to consider its next step.

“We’re going to make a recommendation to the board of selectmen,” Mr. McGrath said. “We’re recommending they put a warrant article on the Nov. 13 special town meeting for the $1.3 million additional we need. I’m really convinced if we don’t go forward and get the money with this, Oak Bluffs will not have a new town hall in my lifetime.”

He also said: “My perspective is, I’m not going out to bid again for any reason. We have a bid that we know will do the job, that will result in a new town hall. We need a little bit more money for it.”

The town hall building committee estimates that with each two week delay, the cost of the project increases by $40,000.

Demolition of the old town hall was scheduled for mid-summer, with town employees scheduled to move into a group of temporary trailers located across the street. The trailers were ready in June, but town employees did not move in when the project was delayed.

“We have a demolition bid which we can accept,” Mr. McGrath said. “The selectmen could say we’re going to put this on the warrant, and we’re counting on the voters to support it, so in the meantime move into the temporary [trailers] . . . demolish the old building, and at that point the process would proceed immediately after the vote [on Nov. 13]. Of course the problem with that is if the voters say no.”