Without so much as a peep, voters last night approved funds to purchase a new ladder truck. For the Ladder Truck Committee, it was the culmination of 18 months of hard work. The auditorium rang with applause after the vote was final.
Voters allocated about $852K for the purchase. The Board of Selectmen and Advisory Committee presented a compromise plan on how to come up with the funds. The town will borrow $350K and pull nearly $400K from the stabilization fund, which is the town’s rainy-day fund. Another $104K will come from a 2001 town meeting article that still had money left over.
With the $90K raised in private donations, primarily from last winter’s Fire Ball, plus the $320K pledged over the next 10 years by Fay School, St. Mark’s, and the New England Center for Children, the purchase will result in only a small increase to our property taxes.
Selectman Bill Boland said the average family can expect to pay an additional $30 over the next 15 years.
After listening to a presentation by Ladder Truck Committee member John Tommaney and hearing about the funding plan from Boland, Town Meeting was ready to vote. With no further discussion, voters overwhelmingly passed the article. I saw only one or two hands raised in opposition.
At the conclusion of town meeting, committee member Jim Colleary thanked the committee for their hard work and recognized members of the Fire Ball committee for their successful fundraising efforts.