Pioneer costs top agenda at Bernardston town meeting

Wednesday at  7 p.m. at PVRS

BERNARDSTON — Voters will decide whether to fund their $2.32 million share of the school district budget and more than $50,000 in school capital projects at Wednesday’s annual town meeting.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Pioneer Valley Regional School.

The total budget for the Pioneer Valley Regional School District remains uncertain, as the state’s lawmakers continue to work on the Massachusetts budget. The final budget will include figures for state aid, which could drastically affect the district’s bottom line.

Bernardston has budgeted a 2.5 percent increase in its share of the Pioneer budget. Northfield and Warwick have already approved 4 and 2.8 percent increases, respectively, while Leyden has delayed a decision until June 24.

Bernardston’s share of Pioneer capital projects, already approved by Northfield and Warwick, includes $4,500 for a front door alarm system, $2,400 for a backup air conditioner for a technology room, $2,550 for a replacement well pump, and $1,500 to install a state-mandated faucet hydrant.

Both the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee recommend that the $4,500 front door alarm be voted down, but are in support of the other school projects on the warrant.

The town’s assessment for the Franklin County Technical School is $156,336, up 38 percent from this year’s $113,056.

Two projects at the Bernardston Elementary School are also up for a vote.

One asks $25,000 to replace carpets and tile in the building.

The other asks to use $15,000 from the BES capital projects account for a security camera and monitors, as well as a handicapped-accessible opener for the school’s front doors. The town could recoup some of that money through a loss-prevention grant.

The town will also decide whether to fund $89,390 for the first of four payments for a 2012 dump truck and repairs to the BES roof.

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