There are 24 articles on the warrant this year, and last night Town Meeting made it through only the first seven. That means there’s still quite a bit of action to come – and lots of money on the line – as Town Meeting continues tonight.
In particular, voters will be asked to approve a $47.8M budget which includes increases for the schools, public safety, human services, and other town departments, offset somewhat by reductions to the public works budget.
In a report to Town Meeting last night, Selectman Bill Boland said if the budget is approved in its entirely, the average single-family tax bill will go up by $150 next year. That’s an increase of 1.8% over the current fiscal year.
If voters want no tax increase next year, they will need to eliminate $595K from the current budget proposals. Boland said service reductions and/or layoffs would be inevitable with such a cut.
Town Meeting tonight will also be asked to allocate $1.1M for capital purchases, including $74K to replace defibrillators used by the fire department, $90K for a new generator for the fire station, $72K for two new police cruisers, $200K for DPW equipment, $525K for improvements to the DPW’s Boland Station, $35K to demolish the unused Fayville pumping station, and more.
Voters will also consider whether to set aside more money for the ongoing legal battle with Northborough over the Algonquin reimbursement issue, how to spend Community Preservation Act funds, and whether to assess a fine for those who rely too heavily on the fire department to pump out their basements.
And don’t forget, anyone can make a motion tonight to reconsider a vote that took place last night. It’s already happened once with the vote to postpone the Town Manager legislation. Could it happen again tonight? You’ll have to be there to find out.
It all starts tonight at 7:30 pm at Trottier. Hope to see you there.
Update 6:00 pm: Thanks to a closer reading of the Town Meeting rules (found at the front of the warrant) I learned that an article may only be reconsidered once, so it looks like Article 4 is officially dead. According to the rules, “If the motion to reconsider is defeated, then the original article stands as previously voted and may not be reconsidered again.”