Town improvements, deferred capital projects and a flurry of bylaw amendments top the agenda when Oak Bluffs voters convene their annual town meeting Saturday beneath the historic Tabernacle.

The meeting officially kicks off the annual town meeting season on the Vineyard, which was delayed by a month or more again this year due to the pandemic. The meeting begins at noon; check in for voters begins at 11 a.m. The quorum has been reduced to 50 voters. Moderator Jesse Law 3rd will preside.

There are 46 articles on the warrant.

The annual town budget, cut by about $500,000 amid pandemic uncertainty last year, is set to increase to $34 million — roughly a 4.57 per cent increase — propelled by school spending, fire department restructuring and other deferred costs. 

“[It’s] a lot,” acting town administrator Wendy Brough told the Gazette by phone this week. “[Last year] we pared down because we didn’t know what the future of Covid was going to do for us financially.”

Topping the warrant are a series of articles for large-scale town improvements and beautification, including $200,000 to pay the town’s matching costs on a $1 million state Seaport Economic Council grant to beautify and reduce congestion around the North Bluff area. The article needs a two-thirds majority to pass.

Another article requests $1.3 million for engineering and design work to continue a comprehensive wastewater planning process. Funding will cover designs for a wastewater treatment facility upgrade and will be used alongside pending grant monies from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which would cover at least 15 per cent of total costs.

Upgrading the Ocean Park bandstand repairs, repainting the Civil War Memorial statue at Niantic Park and refurbishing the bathroom on Kennebec Avenue are among the other capital improvement articles.

Voters will decide whether to authorize selectmen to acquire temporary and permanent easements on seven parcels of land for a shared use path on Beach Road. The MassDOT-planned project — sister to the controversial Tisbury Beach Road SUP — will run from the Lagoon Pond Bridge to the Eastville intersection. Neighbors can donate the land or receive payments, Ms. Brough said.

Another article requests $510,000 to build a park and ride at the corner of County Road and Pennsylvania Avenue. The request was not recommended by the town financial advisory committee, which cited incompleteness of the written proposal.

“I think it’s going to be a discussion point,” Ms. Brough said. “We’ll probably be discussing it and clarifying what we’re looking for and then allowing the people to make their own decision.”

Voters will also be asked to approve $1.4 million for Community Preservation Act projects, from an upgrade of the MV Sharks baseball field to over $259,000 for a restoration project at the East Chop Light. If voters agree, CPA funds will also go toward refurbishment of the Flying Horses and a roof replacement at the Tabernacle, as well as aid Habitat for Humanity in constructing affordable housing.

A request for $41,000 would fund the town’s share of replacing seawater lines at the John T. Hughes Hatchery and Research Station.

Voters will consider four high school-related articles totaling nearly $279,000. The projects include repairs to the superintendent’s office, purchasing electric school buses, an upgrade of school technology infrastructure and a portion of the school committee’s contract with ACE MV.

The articles saw mixed reviews from the finance committee and are expected to generate discussion.

Selectmen previously blocked a request to add an OPEB-related article to the warrant.

“Education is always kind of a funny one,” Ms. Brough said. “I think this town is very supportive of the high school, there might just be questions of how it was done.”

Voters will be asked to approve $20,000 for a comprehensive review of town zoning bylaws. The last review was done in 2003.

Voters will also dig into a series of general bylaw changes, among them whether to enact a Stretch Energy Code that regulates energy use in town buildings and a bylaw change proposing to change the name of the board of selectmen to the select board. Another article proposes banning jumping from the state fishing pier.

Petitioned articles include a plastics reduction and mitigation bylaw and a bylaw requiring domestic animals to be leashed at all times on town property. 

One sleeper article submitted by petition asks the town to take steps to withdraw from the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank.

Ms. Brough said she expects the meeting to be full, and she encouraged voters to bring water. 

“Bring a cushion,” she added.