A special winter town meeting to consider using modular buildings for Tisbury town offices has been called off as town officials weigh plans for a new, $15 million town hall building. 

The meeting date, Jan. 11, had been tentatively set earlier this fall, when Tisbury leaders were looking at easing the town’s office space crunch by purchasing one or more of the modular buildings now in use as the temporary Tisbury School – a strategy that would have required the town’s commitment by mid-February. 

The modular solution subsequently proved a costlier prospect than expected, according to a task group of town volunteers who have been studying options for a consolidated town hall since June and reported their recommendations at last week’s select board meeting. 

The town would be better off building new offices on its one-acre West William street property, if it begins the process promptly, task group members told the select board. 

“It’s a good-sized lot that could easily handle a building of 10,000 square feet, [and] by its location it creates a … municipal campus,” task group chair Amy Houghton said, noting that the school is directly across West William street while the emergency services facility, senior center and existing town hall are all within walking distance.

“The new Tisbury School will be a community center, and with the town hall there, that looks like a nice place [for it] to be,” she said.

Estimating a construction cost of about $15 million, Ms. Houghton said, the task group believes the building could be funded without an additional tax on Tisbury property owners.

“We’re looking for revenue sources that would not require the town to have to increase any tax rates,” she said.

The town’s bond debt for the emergency services building on Spring street — about $600,000 a year — will retire in 2025, Ms. Houghton said, suggesting the town shift that amount to the new building instead.

Other potential sources of money include the town’s stabilization funds.

Tisbury’s town offices are currently split between the historic building in downtown Vineyard Haven and a town hall annex on High Point Lane. The town hall is fighting mold and a lack of space, while the annex has had a rodent infestation. 

Ms. Houghton and other task group members, including retired fire chief John Schilling, emphasized that immediate action is a key part of their recommendations to the board.

“We are really hoping that this proposal can be accepted and pushed forward so the town hall can actually be built,” Ms. Houghton said.

“We can strike now and this is an opportunity, so let’s move forward,” Mr. Schilling said.

The select board accepted the group’s report and voted 2-1 to call off the tentative Jan. 11 town meeting. Christina Colarusso voted against not having the special town meeting, saying she did not want the police department to wait until spring for an annual town meeting vote to purchase a needed backup generator. 

She was outvoted by Roy Cutrer and John Cahill, who saw the $110,000 generator request as insufficient cause for a special town meeting. 

Among other business Wednesday, the select board approved police chief Christopher Habekost’s request to hire two part-time traffic officers, Joseph Gomes and Yanique Samuels.

The board also agreed to put $10,000 of the town’s Steamship Authority embarkation fee money toward a harbor management study and provide $75,000 in Community Preservation Act funds to the town’s affordable housing committee to monitor short-term rental activities.

Board members authorized a change in the hours of operation at the senior center, which previously was open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Council on Aging director Catie Blake said the new hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. will allow center users and volunteers to drive home before full dark has fallen.

“It’s better for the center all around, [because] we’re busier in the mornings,” Ms. Blake said.