Chilmark voters gathered Monday evening for a special town meeting which saw the unanimous approval of an appropriation of $44,000 to renovate the Menemsha commercial dock.

Select board member Warren Doty addressed the voters. — Ray Ewing

The money will come from the town’s waterways improvement account and harbormaster training accounts, and will be used to develop a project design to raise the dock and improve its construction. The funds are the town’s portion to be combined with a $176,000 grant from the Seaport Economic Council.

Fifty eight voters attended the meeting at the community center, which included just one warrant item. Chilmark resident and weather professional Peter Neilly told the crowd that the project began as recommendation of the town climate adaptation committee. Following a needs assessment, he said, the group determined that repairs to the existing dock and bulkhead would be too costly, and only last 10 to 15 years. The new design will aim to last at least 50 years, he said.

Following the design phase, he said,“we hope to finish with a consensus on how to move forward.”

Chilmark cat never misses a town meeting. — Ray Ewing

Select board member Warren Doty also spoke to the voters. “No one wants to see change in Menemsha, but we have to do something about the rising tide,” he said, referring to regular flooding at the dock. “We’ve been working hard to get state and federal money.”

Following one question seeking clarification, voters quickly approved the appropriation.