With a new emergency services headquarters on the horizon, Chilmark selectmen have allowed the Tri-town Ambulance service to settle an old debt with the town by forgiving about $115,000 in promised reimbursements, selectmen announced at their meeting Tuesday.

Between 2003 and 2017, Chilmark had assumed all costs of retirement for employees of the regional ambulance service, which also provides service to Aquinnah and West Tisbury. The costs accumulated modestly at first, selectmen said, but started to pile up as the service began to rely more heavily on salaried employees instead of volunteers.

The most recent agreement, signed in 2017, shifted the cost of retirement from the town to the ambulance service. One clause of the agreement stated that Tri-town would also pay Chilmark back for the retirement costs that the town had already shouldered which had mounted to $282,176.

“We went through a reconciliation to resolve the back payments Chilmark has made,” selectman Warren Doty said.

The debt repayment and new agreement are part of a larger restructuring within the ambulance service, which involves hiring more employees and constructing a new emergency services building in Chilmark. Tri-town is currently based in the West Tisbury public safety building.

Although Tri-town has been accumulating a surplus for the past three years to pay off the retirement debt, that surplus has only amounted to $166,783. Chilmark selectmen agreed to accept that amount and absolve Tri-town of the remaining debt of $115,393.

“It doesn’t come out quite even . . . [but] this will just clean it up and then we’ll move forward. I think it’s a good move,” Mr. Doty said.

At their meeting Tuesday, selectmen announced three public forums to unveil architectural plans for both the new ambulance headquarters and a new public safety building to replace the current fire station. The forums will be held March 12, April 2 and April 16 at the Chilmark Library, ahead of town meeting where voters will be asked to approve funding for construction.

In other business, selectmen renewed a three-year contract for police chief Jonathan Klaren. Starting July 1 of this year, the chief will be paid a salary of $140,000, a 2.2 per cent increase from his current pay, according to the contract.

Selectmen also approved a new clause in the town’s compensation plan proposed by their human resource board. The clause stipulates that town contracts would be reviewed every five years, instead of “from time to time,” as it was previously written.

“This is to make sure like positions in the town of Chilmark are compensated appropriately to other positions on the Island,” selectman Jim Malkin said.

Selectmen also appointed town building inspector Leonard Jason Jr. as the veterans’ graves officer, appointed Mr. Doty to the board of Healthy Aging MV and approved the annual Meet the Fleet event for August 6.