SOUTHAMPTON — At its May 7 Annual Town Meeting, Southampton Town Meeting members voted to approve a $21 million operating budget for fiscal year 2025. That includes $955,000 for general government funding and nearly $13 million for education.

Town Meeting members voted to approve the $2.2 million purchase of approximately 52 acres off College Highway that would be used for the future development of municipal projects, such as a public safety complex, senior center, affordable housing and recreational fields. Christine Fowles, chair of the Southampton Select Board, noted that this acquisition is a rare opportunity and encouraged voters to consider both the short-term and long-term needs of the town.

The revised bylaw that was voted down would have allowed residents to have no more than one unregistered vehicle on their property unless it met one of the exemptions, such as being stored in a garage or under a vehicle cover or being a piece of farm equipment. People could have applied for special permits to keep more than one unregistered vehicle at the discretion of the building inspector. Many who spoke out against the revised bylaw voiced concerns about people not having garage space to store their vehicles.

Members approved a new noise ordinance bylaw that generally calls for limited noise between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. While there are exceptions, Police Chief Ian Illingsworth explained that this bylaw will give them more clearly defined guidelines to follow. The lack of clear definitions previously made every noise call a judgment call for the responding officers.

Some of the other financial moves made at the town meeting included approving capital requests for FY25 such as ADA doors at the town hall and new lighting and floors at the library, a nearly $1 million enterprise fund budget for the water department, a $238,000 enterprise fund budget for the transfer station and transfers for Wi-Fi and technology updates at the town hall.

Logistical moves included establishing a capital fund account for needs at Hampshire Regional High School, updating the board of registrars and zoning bylaws and establishing a revolving fund for health department inspections.

Although ultimately approved, questions were raised about why the limit for that new revolving fund, at $60,000, was almost twice as high as any other revolving fund. Select board members explained that the amount had been set based on the last two years’ receipts.

Of the 26 items on the meeting warrant, voters approved 24 of them, took no action on one and voted down one.