RICHMOND — Voters at Wednesday night's annual town meeting endorsed the town budget, new regulations for short-term Airbnb rentals by absentee investor-owners and a plan to explore possibilities for a new library.

Out of 1,166 registered voters, 81 attended the 90-minute meeting, a turnout of 7 percent, according to Town Clerk Marie Ryan.

All 27 warrant articles passed, mostly by unanimous votes, said Town Administrator Mark Pruhenski.

The proposal to revise the town's zoning bylaws was the only item that raised concerns, resulting in some debate, he noted. A two-thirds majority was required for approval, and after some discussion, the tally was 63 in favor, four opposed, with most questions answered to the voters' satisfaction, Pruhenski said.

The revision applies to absentee owners or investor-owners not residing on the property who rent rooms or an entire dwelling for 30 nights or less. Those rentals now require a special permit from the town's zoning board. Resident families who rent rooms by right in all districts are not affected by the new regulation. Also unchanged is the requirement that a bed-and-breakfast business obtain a special permit from the ZBA.

Approval of the town's budget was unanimous, while the Richmond Consolidated School's $3.33 million budget, an increase of 4 percent, passed with one voter opposed. Total town spending for the 2018-19 fiscal year will be $6.94 million, a decrease of 0.4 percent. It includes operating budgets, the school and special funding articles.

Also approved, with two opposed, was $7,200 to purchase and install two solar-powered, radar-controlled speed signs on Route 41 (State Road) in the school zone to slow traffic during student dropoff and pickup times. The funding is from certified free cash.

The approved budget includes $100,000 to replace the Town Highway storage building, $100,000 for the OPEB trust fund to cover health insurance and other benefits for municipal retirees and $100,000 for continued repairs to Town Hall. Non-school employees gained a 3 percent salary increase, offset by increases in employee benefit costs and the town's pension assessment.

The projected tax rate, subject to state approval in November, is $12.15 per $1,000 of assessed value, up from $11.75, resulting in an increase for the average tax bill of $169, or 3.5 percent, based on current property values.

Voters approved two articles clearing the way for the library's board of trustees to study options for building a new facility and to apply for, accept and spend any available state or other public or private grants for a library planning and design project. A possible location would be on town-owned land adjacent to the school.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at, on Twitter @BE_Cfanto and at 413-637-2551.