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Town puts May 17 Town Warrant on line; no override projected this year; school spending up 3.9%

Posted by Bill Densmore at 10:55 a.m., April 27, 2005

The 15-page document which Williamstown voters will use to consider the town budget on May 17 is available online as of this morning.  The good news -- no one seems to thing that a Proposition 2-1/2 override will be sought this year.

Town Meeting is set for Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at the Williamstown Elementary School gym.  The Tuesday before, May 10, voters in town will go to the polls from  7 a.m. until 8 p.m., also at the school, to vote for a slate of town officials. The only contest is in the race for school committee (MORE LATER ON THIS RACE).

 The town's increasingly net-savvy clerk, Mary Kennedy, with a little help from informal "webmaster" Bill Barkin (day job: town assessor), converted the Town Warrant to a PDF and you can download it by CLICKING HERE

Besides the usual budget items, the warrant includes Article 28 (U.S.A. Patriot Act) and Article 29, which seeks the return from Iraq of Massachusetts-based National Guard units. For a few more details of what's in the warrant, CLICK HERE.

Proposed spending requests, include:

The largest proposed capital expenditures are $100,000 for a new tandem-axle dump truck, $80,000 for phase-two replacement of the Milne library roof and $75,000 for elementary-school sidewalk improvements.

A unique proposition this year is Article 18 -- which proposes town approval of a tax break for the Wild Oats Cooperative Inc., the non-profit co-op which owns and runs the Wild Oats Community Market. The "tax increment financing" (TIF) agreement would reduce Wild Oats' property taxes for up to 10 years.

Article 19 seeks approval of $125,000 to repair the town-owned Little Red School House building.

Article 24 proposes to change the deadlines for submission of citizen petitions for the annual town meeting. It will be interesting to see what this is about and who proposed it.

Article 26 proposes changes in the Zoning Bylaw. Again, perhaps we'll learn a bit before town meeting about the intent of this change.