Eversource will begin installing seven new utility poles along Middle Road in Chilmark next week, after receiving permission from the town select board Tuesday.

The project, which aims to bolster the grid in Chilmark and Aquinnah, was scaled back from Eversource’s original proposal to install 48 poles along the road last year.

“There was significant resistance to that,” said Ronit Goldstein, community relations specialist at Eversource.

Ms. Goldstein emphasized the importance of upgrading service along the road.

“It’s a very poorly functioning circuit,” she said, “It was not chosen arbitrarily.”

After the original proposal received blowback, Eversource met several times with concerned residents on Middle Road to consult on the project, according to Ms. Goldstein. “The feedback we got from the group…for the most part was positive, I would say,” she said. “They were pleased with the reduction in poles.”

But at the hearing this week, which lasted nearly an hour, residents living near Middle Road raised more concerns. Several worried the poles, which are the same height as existing poles on the road, would hurt the area’s scenic views.

“The property value of our house is all in that view,” said Tracy Thorpe. “There it goes.”

Drew Marcus, another nearby resident, said he had come to an agreement with Eversource to move one of the poles out of view from his house. He has since made his peace with the project.

“Obviously we’d rather not have it at all,” he said, “but if we have to have it, for the greater good, we pushed it far enough.”

Some residents asked if the cables could be buried. The poles are paid for by statewide Eversource customer rates, according to Ms. Goldstein, and the Department of Public Utilities would not allow the company to take on such a pricey project on the ratepayer’s dime.

“DPU would say no,” she said.

If Chilmark residents want the wires buried, Ms. Goldsmith said – a project estimated to cost roughly $4 million – it would have to be paid for by the town.

“I’m not sure what the appetite would be for the taxpayer to assist with something like this,” said select board member Bill Rossi.

The select board voted unanimously to allow the project to go forward. The work is expected to take 10 to 12 weeks.

In other business, the select board held a public hearing on raising the town’s short term rental tax from 4 to 6 per cent, the highest rate allowed under state law. The request was presented by the affordable housing committee, which also asked the town to commit $200,000 a year, the anticipated revenue from the tax raise, to the town’s affordable housing trust.

“This is a great way to help boost the projects the town has,” said housing committee member Jim Feiner.

The select board voted to include the request as an article at the next annual town meeting.