Residents of Oak Bluffs swiftly worked their way through their annual and special town meetings Tuesday at the regional high school’s performing arts center, approving all articles in under two hours with little deliberation.

Voters passed the $37.6 million budget, restrictions on select board members from holding other elected positions, several funding requests and a ban on the sales of miniature liquor bottles.

The budget, a 6 per cent rise from last year, passed with no discussion aside from a $4,786.84 reduction in the Oak Bluffs school budget, a result of lower health insurance costs.

The approximately 150 voters at town meeting also approved the town’s share of a $2 million Island-wide feasibility study to look at replacing or renovating the regional high school. The Oak Bluffs portion is expected to be $457,800.

Several voters stood and spoke in favor of the study, emphasizing that the current high school, built in 1959, is deteriorating and in need of care.

Town moderator Jack Law addresses the approximately 150 people town meeting Tuesday. — Ray Ewing

“Our facilities lack the flexibility and the basic size requirements to accommodate the student population and our educational programming,” said high school principal Sara Dingledy. “There is no better time to take this important first step… if we don’t act now we will surely pay more.”

Edgartown and West Tisbury also approved their shares of the study at their town meetings Tuesday night. Aquinnah, Chilmark and Tisbury will vote later this spring.

The town also voted to move forward with paying $325,000 for a project to restore tidal flow at Farm Pond, as well as $250,000 for repairs to the East Chop bulkhead. Voters will once again be asked to weigh in on the projects, along with several other funding questions, on their ballots at town election on Thursday.

Residents voiced their approval for rules that restrict select board members from holding any additional elected town positions during their term, although the ruling will not affect any members currently serving or those elected later this week.

“It would be [applied] to anyone running for office after it’s approved by the attorney general’s office,” explained select board member Ryan Ruley.

Despite several months of contention about the proposed ban on the sale of 100 milliliter alcohol bottles, colloquially known as nips, the town voted to approve the measure with no discussion.

Edgartown, the only other town that has package stores, also banned nips Tuesday. The ban is set to go into effect in May 2024.

Some discussion arose between voters and members of the finance and advisory committee regarding funding for regional human services like the Substance Use Disorder Coalition and Healthy Aging MV.

Regional high school principal Sara Dingledy speaks in favor of a high school feasibility study. — Ray Ewing

Committee member Sherry Countryman explained that the committee didn’t recommend funding for some of the services because the organizations often request one-time funding but end up requesting more year after year.

Many audience members shared their support for the article and it passed quickly after.

Toward the end of the night, there was some debate about an article requesting $50,000 to repair the police station and an additional article for a $75,000 feasibility study to move or replace the building.

Town administrator Deb Potter explained that the repairs are only a short-term solution and that a feasibility study would allow the town to address long-standing problems with the building.

“It’s an incremental philosophy,” she said.

Voters approved both articles.

The meeting was adjourned by 8:41 p.m.