A recent spate of vehicle malfunctions has temporarily hobbled the Tisbury volunteer fire department, fire chief John Schilling told selectmen Tuesday evening.

“We’ve been dealing with a bit of bad luck, if you will, with our equipment as of late,” he said.

An accident involving the ladder truck and the station caused damage to both the building and the truck in September. Mr. Schilling told the Gazette later the mishap happened as the truck returned to the station after a call. The truck was temporarily out of service for repairs, but the chief said he anticipates it will return to service this week. He told selectmen money will need to come from either the facilities budget or the fire department maintenance budget to cover the insurance deductible.

Meanwhile, the department’s backup vehicle has its own challenges.

“While the truck is out of service we have the old, very old reserve piece,” Mr. Schilling said. The 1982 Chevy four-by-four originally belonged to Edgartown fire department, then the Edgartown police department. Chief Schilling said it has required repairs on all the brake lines and now the transmission has a leak.

The brand new pumper has also been temporarily out of service. A valve on the pumper was dysfunctional on arrival and the vehicle was taken off-Island for repairs.

“So very quietly we were out of service with three pieces. It’s been a very tenuous situation here,” the fire chief said. He said the Oak Bluffs fire department had been covering for Tisbury with its ladder truck. (The department has two other pumpers and a rescue vehicle.)

He said by the end of the week, the fleet is expected to be back in full service.

“But it’s really exposed a weakness with this old reserve piece. It’s time to move on from this truck,” Mr. Schilling said of the 1982 Chevy. He suggested retrofitting an ambulance as a new reserve truck, and said he would present an article at town meeting to accomplish that in the next fiscal year.

Selectman Melinda Loberg asked whether the issues with the new pumper raise questions about the manufacturer.

“It was a little disappointing that the primary function of the truck wasn’t performing,” Chief Schilling said, but he said he is confident that the company will reassess the inspection checklist after paying to transport the truck to and from the Island for repairs.

In other business, Tisbury harbor master John Crocker updated the board on completion of dredging in the Lake Tashmoo channel. The Edgartown dredge crew worked on the job for a total of 16 days between Oct. 2 and Nov. 2, and will charge Tisbury $148,000 for the job. The amount is budget; the two towns agreed that fees would not exceed $193,000.

Tisbury secured state reimbursement grant for the project, so with pre and post-dredge surveys, the town will be responsible for about $85,000, Mr. Crocker said.

Future maintenance will be key, the harbor master told the board. “I do want you to know that sand moves and it moves a lot . . . you’re looking at having this channel dredged probably every two or three years,” he said.

In an ongoing discussion, Beach Road property owners returned to express concern about a state improvement plan for the stretch of road between Five Corners and Wind’s Up. Deborah Packer, manager of the Shell gas station, showed selectmen the eminent domain documents she had received in the mail.

“It’s the real deal. It’s happening,” she said.

Selectmen have struggled to find common ground on the Beach Road plan. Tristan Israel has drafted a letter to send to the state opposing the proposed plan. Mrs. Loberg has said she thinks the plan should go forward. Selectman James Rogers indicated that he would vote to oppose the plan, but on Tuesday in the end there was no vote because Mrs. Loberg had to leave the meeting early. The road belongs to the state and it is unclear how much influence the selectmen have at this late stage.

After a public hearing selectmen voted to approve a tax rate and keep the existing 18 per cent residential exemption. The residential rate (per thousand dollars of valuation) will be $9.79 and the commercial rate will be $9.24.

The residential exemption is calculated based on the average value of a residential property in town, assistant assessor Ann Marie Cywinski told the Gazette. That average value is about $915,000. Eighteen per cent of that amount is about $165,000, meaning residents who qualify for the exemption can subtract $165,000 from the taxable value of their home.

For example, a resident whose home is worth $500,000 will pay $3,282, and a nonresident with the same home value would pay $4,620 in property taxes.

Mansion House owner Josh Goldstein said he was disappointed with a recent vote to raise parking fees for the town parking lot at the former site of the fire station. The board voted to increase fees from $1,200 to $2,000 annually last month, with a plan to raise the fees again next year.

“You guys are the landlords. You can do what you want . . . I would hope with that additional money, you’re able to maintain the lot, plow the lot, and provide some security in the lot,” said Mr. Goldstein, whose hotel guests use the lot.

Mr. Israel assured him that the lot would be plowed and said the new police chief would be in conversation with the town administrator about permit enforcement.

Mr. Israel opened the meeting with a proclamation from the governor honoring veterans and marking the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I.

“We are so connected to our past,” he said. “In my lifetime there were Civil War veterans . . . 100 years after World War I, there were a lot of sacrifices made by a lot of people.”