Heath annual meeting Saturday

HEATH — On Saturday, annual town meeting voters will set the town’s fiscal year 2014 budget, and decide whether to buy the Highway Department a new mower with $19,500 and to spend $12,000 for the repair of a 2001 John Deere road grader.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Heath Elementary School.

This year, the Mohawk Trail Regional School District is seeking an overall decreased assessment from the town. This year’s operating assessment was $738,606, but Mohawk is seeking about 2 percent less — $721,954 for next school year. The Franklin County Technical School’s operating assessment has also dropped, from $74,938 this past year down to $19,943 for the coming school year.

Town officials will ask residents to transfer $50,000 from “free cash” surplus to reduce taxes in the coming fiscal year and to transfer another $80,000 of free cash funds into the town’s stabilization account.

Other articles ask voters to approve:

∎ Making one Board of Health member an appointed part-time clerk of the board, at a salary of $3,000.

∎ Appointing one assessor as the board’s part-time clerk, with a salary of $4,992.

∎ Spending $3,130 for the installation and purchase of telephone and Internet equipment in Sawyer Hall, for the transition from DSL to MassBroadband fiber network.

∎ To add a new zoning bylaw section on “Fixed Wireless Broadband Facilities,” to facilitate high-speed wireless broadband Internet services in town.

∎ To lower the permissible noise levels in the “Wind Energy Conversion Systems” zoning bylaw from 65 decibels to 30 decibels.

∎ To revise the town’s dog bylaw.

∎ Another article, submitted by selectmen, asks for the board to seek special legislation that would allow Police Chief Margo Ann Newton to continue serving as police chief until the age of 70, and that no deductions from her regular compensation would be made after she reaches age 65.

∎ A petitioned article asks to send Baystate Health Systems a resolution to “commit to the long-term viability of a full-service community hospital at Baystate.”

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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