Edgartown voters are set to take up a significantly pared-down annual and special town meeting agenda this Saturday, with a complex land purchase involving the Boys and Girls Club topping the 53-article warrant.

The annual town meeting, delayed two months due to the pandemic, will take place under a tent at the Edgartown School. The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. with masks required (and provided) and strict social distancing rules in place. Speakers and port-a-potties have been set up outdoors.

Moderator Sean Murphy will preside. The quorum of 200 will be lowered to 20, thanks to a bill passed in the state legislature and signed by Gov. Charlie Baker last Sunday evening allowing towns to lower their quorums to 10 per cent of the required number.

Town administrator James Hagerty said the town still wants as many people to show up as possible, but was pleased that the measure had passed to ensure the town could ratify its budget by June 30. The town is looking to pass a $39.3 million operating budget, up 2.44 per cent from fiscal year 2020.

Over the past two months, Mr. Hagerty and the town finance committee have worked frantically to trim the budget, anticipating approximately $1.2 million in revenue losses next year due to the pandemic. The result was a $1.7 million reduction across almost every one of the town’s 26 departments, including far fewer spending articles on town vehicles and capital projects, as well as town employees giving up their cost of living increase.

“We made significant reductions to get us through the next 12 to 18 next months,” Mr. Hagerty said. “This is the bare essentials. Edgartown usually has 90 warrant articles.”

Topping a special town meeting warrant is a long-planned land purchase involving the town and the Boys and Girls Club. Announced last spring, the club signed a purchase and sale agreement with the Norton Family to buy a 21-acre parcel off Edgartown-West Tisbury road for $2.8 million, planning to use the site for a new facility.

The town has since entered in a memorandum of understanding with the club that would effectively swap valuable town easements to their new property for a portion of the land. An article on the warrant asks voters to allow the town to raise $650,000 to acquire a 4.67-acre, subdivided parcel, and the rights to another 14-acre portion of the land. The price is the same price at which the club is buying the land from the Norton family. The item needs a two-thirds vote at town meeting, as well as a majority vote in a ballot question. A nonbinding referendum on the VTA’s controversial proposal to install an electric bus charging station at their Church Street hub is also on the special town meeting warrant. Critics of the proposal submitted the article by petition.

Voters will also be asked to weigh in on a warrant article submitted by the group Plastic Free MV, which would effectively ban the sale of plastic water bottles in the town.

Another article asks voters to change the town’s construction noise bylaws in the downtown R5 zoning district, which currently bans construction from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekends and holidays. The proposed bylaw change would prohibit construction from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m., extending the limit by four hours.

The trimmed warrant still includes numerous spending articles, including $200,000 for capital improvements to Memorial Wharf, $50,000 for improvements to the interior and exterior of town hall, $25,000 for beach nourishment at Bend in the Road beach, and $75,000 for further planning and construction of a park at the recently-renovated Yellow House property in downtown.

Town resident Benjamin Hall Jr. has also submitted three warrant articles by petition involving eminent domain land takings and the resulting payments.

With social distancing protocols in place, Mr. Hagerty encouraged residents to have their voice heard on Saturday. While there will be no midnight bells chiming as Edgartonians exit the Whaling Church this year, the school tent can fit over 200 people, even with six-foot boundaries in place.

“We want everyone to come to town meeting,” Mr. Hagerty said.