Oak Bluffs selectmen, against the recommendation of a majority of the financial advisory committee, voted last week to become the sixth and final Island town to sign off on an intermunicipal agreement that sets up oversight of the Center for Living.

Chairman Michael Santoro joined selectmen Walter Vail and Gregory Coogan in voting for the agreement. Selectman Gail Barmakian vigorously opposed. Selectman Kathy Burton did not attend.

While making it clear that they support the Center for Living, which provides a day program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, opponents of the agreement said the oversight structure is still being finalized by attorneys, and could be substantially different than the agreement approved Tuesday. Financial advisory committee members questioned how the independent non-profit agency would allocate grants and donations, and how Dukes County would assess Island towns for the cost of services.

The finance committee voted 5-4 to wait for the final agreement before making a recommendation.

“We were told lawyers from both sides were at work,” said Steve Auerbach, vice-chairman of the financial advisory committee. “This memorandum of understanding is all about where the oversight is, how it will work going forward. I don’t see how you can possibly approve something the main substance of which has yet to be decided.”

Ms. Barmakian said she was uncomfortable with the oversight structure outlined in the intermunicipal agreement. She said the agreement as written could require the town to pay for expanded services.

The five other Island towns have already approved the agreement.

“Our backs are up against the wall,” Ms. Barmakian said, speaking to county manager Martina Thornton. “Don’t take it personally, but I resent that.”

“I resent you saying your backs are against the wall,” Ms. Thornton said. “If you have issues with the structure, you would have to commit the other five towns to your structure. I’m not hearing any firm vision from you that I can bring to the other five towns.”

Mr. Vail, who is Oak Bluffs’ representative to the county advisory board, said the agreement can be amended.

“I think we should approve it with the idea that we will get a revised document,” Mr. Vail said. “The Center for Living is not new. We’re already paying for it. What this memorandum of understanding does is bring this to one organization, that is the county, that will monitor and approve what happens. The county advisory board has the ultimate authority on what it’s going to spend.”

In other business last week selectmen and the financial advisory committee unanimously approved year end transfers totalling $183,737. The transfers from other accounts, along with $50,000 from an emergency reserve fund, balanced the books for the fiscal year which ended June 30.

The highway department ran the largest deficit, overspending accounts by $110,800, because of unexpected costs for snow and ice removal last winter.

Oak Bluffs building inspector Mark Barbadoro presented a plan to substantially increase building permit fees. He said the number of permits his department handles has doubled in two years, and he needs more staff to keep up.

“We’re turning a lot of permits, and we’re going to be turning more as times get better,” Mr. Barbadoro said.

He said a survey of the five counties nearest Martha’s Vineyard showed that Oak Bluffs’ permit fees rank in the bottom eight percent of more than 100 towns surveyed.

The building inspector proposed raising fees in two steps, beginning with an increase from the current level of about $2.70 per $1,000 of construction costs, to $6.50 per $1,000. In a future year, he proposed raising permit costs to $10 per $1,000, which he said would be the average of the towns he surveyed. The fee hike would enable the town to hire another local inspector and a zoning enforcement officer, funded entirely by permit fees.

Selectmen agreed to consider the proposal, and vote on it in two weeks, at their next meeting.