With state funding secured for a major project to adapt the Menemsha commercial dock to sea level rise, the Chilmark select board is mulling how to put up its portion of the funds.

A needs assessment, which represented phase one of the project, was completed in the spring and recommended a full replacement of the dock and bulkhead, which is estimated to have a 10-year lifespan if no action is taken. Phase one was funded by a Seaport Economic Council grant and completed by Bellingham-based Childs Engineering.

In July the town received $176,000 from another Seaport grant to fund phase two of the project, which is to design a replacement program. The town needs to put up a 20 per cent match, about $44,000, to round out the funding. At its meeting Tuesday, the select board kicked around a few different options to come up with the money with harbormaster Ryan Rossi.

“We just need to figure out how we’re going to do that–whether we need to hold a special town meeting to appropriate those funds or if we can find them somewhere else,” Mr. Rossi said.

Peter Neilley, a weather forecasting professional and Chilmark resident who is helping the town with the project, told the select board the goal is to start the project in October and finish by next spring. That timeline would allow the town to go back to the state for another grant.

“The only thing that’s driving this schedule is our desire to have the design phase completed so that we can go back next year and get money on the calendar that they award the money on,” Mr. Neilley said.

But that timeline does not match up with the fall special town meeting, which is scheduled for November. The town could issue a request for proposals before it has the money secured, but that runs the risk of limiting the number of interested bidders, town administrator Tim Carroll said.

“It usually reduces the number of companies that take it seriously, but if we have somebody that we’re already happy with who is going to bid, then it probably won’t prejudice the project,” Mr. Carroll said.

And the town does have an interested bidder, Mr. Neilley said. Childs Engineering–which did the engineering work for the project to raise Memorial Wharf in Edgartown–has indicated that it would like to keep going with the project.

“We were, I think, quite pleased with their engagement and services provided in phase one,” Mr. Neilley said. “And they have also indicated to us that they are interested in seeing this project through to fruition.”

Dipping into stabilization funds or the waterways account, which the harbor department usually uses for dredging, is also a potential funding source if the money is needed before the special town meeting. In the end, the select board authorized Mr. Neilley and Mr. Rossi to start putting together a bid package despite not locating a source of funding.

“It’s enough to say that the select board is going to guarantee that you get the matching funds to continue with this grant,” selectman Warren Doty said. “We’re going to do that and we want this grant to succeed.”

In other business Tuesday, the select board also discussed a letter from town counsel Ron Rappaport regarding the affordable housing project at Peaked Hill Pastures.

At the April town meeting, voters approved a plan to build 10 rental units and four owned units on roughly 16 acres of town-owned land. But in his letter Mr. Rappaport said that proposal does not fit with Chilmark’s zoning bylaws. Either the bylaws would need to be changed to accommodate the project or the town could get a statewide 40B permit, which allows developers to exceed local parameters for the sake of building affordable housing.

Selectman Warren Doty said the town should not shy away from the 40B process, citing other Island towns that are using it for affordable housing.

“I would not completely rule out the idea of a 40B. It’s being done by Island Housing Trust, and by Oak Bluffs and by Edgartown,” Mr. Doty said. “We would rather not do it, but if we have to do a 40B to get our 10 rental units and four ownership units, I think we could do that.”

Andy Goldman, who is on the Peaked Hill Pastures committee, said the group wants to get the planning board’s opinion and ask Mr. Rappaport a few clarifying questions before it proceeds.

“The town meeting and its wisdom has approved something that is apparently in conflict with the existing bylaws,” Mr Goldman said. “We think the town meeting wanted 10 [rental] units there and as a committee we’re trying to find a way to achieve what the town seemed to want.”

The board later convened in executive session to discuss fire chief Jeremy Bradshaw’s new contract. The three-year contract includes a $120,000 salary for the first year, five additional vacation days and increased emergency management responsibilities, Mr. Doty said once the board returned to open session.

“Those are the fundamental changes to the fire chief’s contract and we will have that written up in good form by our town labor counsel,” Mr. Doty said.