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Bernardston nixes school security project

  • Recorder/Peter MacDonald<br/>The entrance to the Bernardston Elementary School, which hopes to get a security upgrade.<br/>

    Recorder/Peter MacDonald
    The entrance to the Bernardston Elementary School, which hopes to get a security upgrade.

  • Recorder file photo<br/>Students play outside the entrance to Bernardston Elementary School.

    Recorder file photo
    Students play outside the entrance to Bernardston Elementary School.

  • Recorder/Peter MacDonald<br/>The entrance to the Bernardston Elementary School, which hopes to get a security upgrade.<br/>
  • Recorder file photo<br/>Students play outside the entrance to Bernardston Elementary School.

BERNARDSTON — A $15,000, the Bernardston Elementary School security project has been defeated by special town meeting voters.

The project would have used $10,000 from a BES capital projects account, along with a $5,000 grant, to install a front-door video camera and buzzer, with three remote monitors and unlocking stations, as well as a powered door opener for handicapped accessibility. The project was defeated unanimously at the Monday meeting, according to Virginia Budness, Board of Selectmen chairwoman.

A lack of understanding may have led to the article’s defeat, said Budness.

“I think people didn’t feel that they had a good handle on (the project),” she said. “People were also surprised that there was nobody from the school at the meeting (to advocate for the project).”

She said some residents considered the security system a “Band-Aid,” and asked what security measures would cover the building’s other doors.

Budness said that, presently, it doesn’t seem that the article will be revisited at the annual town meeting.

The voters also decided that the annual town meeting will no longer be held on the first Thursday in June. A vote Monday rescinded a 2012 special town meeting vote that moved the annual meeting from May to June. Last year, the town had decided to push the annual town meeting back in order to save time debating the school budget, which needs approval of three out of four Pioneer Valley Regional School District member towns to pass. If the other three member towns approved the budget before Bernardston met, the matter would have already been decided.

Budness said the Board of Selectmen will determine the annual town meeting date at its April 3 meeting.

Other business

Voters approved the use of $8,000 of available funds to reorganize town records stored in various locations.

Effective July 1, fees collected by the town clerk, tax collector, and treasurer will go into the town’s general fund. Previously, those fees were kept by the person collecting them, as a supplement to their salaries.

An update to the town’s flood plain district was approved by voters, as was an update to the zoning bylaw section dealing with water resource protection.

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