Meeting beneath an open-sided tent on the basketball court behind the Community Center Saturday afternoon, 87 Chilmark voters made quick work of their special town meeting warrant, voting in just over an hour to spend nearly $1.5 million on town, school and Island-wide projects.

All 19 articles were approved, nearly all of them unanimously and most without discussion.

The biggest spending item on the warrant: a $950,000 borrowing measure to replace the failing HVAC system at Chilmark School, was approved with a lone dissenter.

Under a shared-cost agreement with the other two Island towns, Aquinnah and West Tisbury would be responsible for repaying roughly 20 per cent of the debt between them. Both towns must also vote in favor of the arrangement for Chilmark’s vote to take effect.

Jim Sandler and Bob Rosenbaum both expressed concern that the school project would wind up costing more than projected; if that winds up being the case, select board member Warren Doty said it would mean asking voters for more money.

In the end only Mr. Sandler stood up against the article during the vote count

In other shared-cost items on the warrant, voters also approved spending $41,000 toward the West Tisbury School roof replacement project, $36,000 for a $271,000 sea water line replacement project at the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group’s Hughes Hatchery in Oak Bluffs and $5,000 for the Martha’s Vineyard Commission’s storm tide pathways project.

Closer to home, voters approved $200,000 for road repaving, $38,000 for computer expenses, $92,500 in harbor expenses, $35,000 for a four-wheel-drive pickup truck for the fire department and $25,000 for an online permitting system for town hall, which does not include beach permits.

A $12,000 request for repairs to the Lucy Vincent Beach road and parking lot also passed easily.

More than $16,000 in late invoices from a handful of town contractors who submitted bills after the fiscal year closed in July required a 9/10 majority to pay and received unanimous approval.

Saturday’s meeting began with good financial tidings from Mr. Doty, who reported an abundant surplus following a brisker-than-expected summer.

“We lived in a very conservative style, financially prudent, for a year and a half during the pandemic and we budgeted very conservatively,” he said. “We counted on modest revenues and kept our budgets under control.

“All of a sudden last summer, we were much busier than we expected. We were not slowed down. Our revenue was strong.”

So strong, in fact, that instead of the $500,000 to $600,000 in free cash that Chilmark sees in a typical autumn, this year it’s $1.5 million Mr. Doty said.

“We certainly have the money to cover all these [warrant] expenses,” he said.

A handful of voters objected to the cemetery commission’s request for $14,500 in funds from cemetery lot sales to build a split-rail fence with concrete posts along the King’s Highway border between Abel’s Hill cemetery and privately-owned properties.

“It’s ugly. It’s not Vineyardy,” said Monina von Opel.

“It’s been Vineyardy along the South Road for the past 40 years,” cemetery superintendent Susan Murphy responded.

Town moderator Janet Wiedner led the meeting, marking her first formal debut and receiving a round of applause before adjournment.

More pictures.