Facing a growing demand for services and nearly $500,000 in school spending requests, West Tisbury selectmen will ask voters for a Proposition 2 1/2 general override to ease pressure on the town budget this year.

Although a precise amount has not been decided, selectmen said at a recent meeting they were looking at an override of about $200,000.

The amount will be determined by the town financial management team of town administrator Jennifer Rand, finance director Bruce Stone and treasurer/collector Kathy Stone.

Presenting a financial overview to the board earlier this month, Mr. Stone cited a number of budgetary forces putting pressure on the town’s tax levy, which he projects will grow to $19.2 million in fiscal year 2022 from $17.4 million in the current fiscal year.

“The up-Island regional school assessment is up 4.4 per cent, which . . . has a significant impact,” Mr. Stone said.

Health insurance for town employees is projected to increase as well, Mr. Stone said, and employment costs will also rise with the hiring of a new fire chief and the addition of two new year-round positions, a highway-cemetery department worker and an assistant health agent.

Unforeseen warrant articles from the West Tisbury School, Chilmark School and regional high school, including a $257,600 article for roofing at the West Tisbury School, represent another strain on the budget, Mr. Stone said.

“All the school capital articles add up to almost 500,000,” he said. “It will have an impact.”

Even if West Tisbury were to throw in all of its free cash, and skip its usual contributions to stabilization funds for future repairs to town roads and buildings, there would still be a budget gap of close to $300,000, Mr. Stone said.

Ms. Rand said the town has grown to the point that its budget needs to increase beyond the annual 2.5 per cent that Prop. 2 1/2 allows without an override. Not to ask for one this year, she said, would be simply postponing the inevitable.

“We think of ourselves as the small town of West Tisbury, but we’re a $19 million corporation at this point, when you get right down to it. It takes a lot to run a town,” Ms. Rand said. 

“Our capacity now is absolutely strained to its limit, and there’s no reason to believe that this is the bad year and next year is a good year. We don’t know that next year we will not get yet another half million dollars in requests from the schools.

“The budget . . . is not going to get smaller.”

The West Tisbury town election is April 15. The annual town meeting is May 18.