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Letter: Northfield share

There seems to be some confusion as to the outcome of the vote for Northfield’s share of the PVRS budget. Within the entire Town budget, the Finance Committee recommended $3,872,507; an increase of 4 percent over last year’s PVRS operating budget assessment. The school had requested $4,196,836. This represents an increase over last year of over 12 percent. There was an amendment proposed to support the full amount requested. This amendment passed by a majority vote.

Then there was a vote on the town’s entire operating budget, including the amended amount for the school budget, which passed unanimously.

Northfield has, for many years, had an article on the town meeting warrant preceding any of the so-called “Money Articles” saying that upon exceeding the levy limit, any monies appropriated beyond that recommended by the Finance Committee may require an override (over the amount allowed under state Proposition 2½). Our interpretation of this as it applies to the recent town meeting vote is that the PVRS amount is not “cemented in” until the passage of the override vote.

Until that time, the amount stands at the 4 percent increase recommended by the Finance Committee. Of the four towns in the PVRS District, three must pass their amount requested for it to become effective. As of this writing, May 9, only Warwick has passed the amount requested. Northfield’s future action will depend on the action of Bernardston and Leyden. If those towns vote the requested amount, Northfield will have to come up with the money to pay its full requested amount.

If only one of those towns passes it, the override vote in Northfield will be critical to the outcome of the PVRS budget for all four towns.

LOIS M. STEARNS

Chair

Northfield Finance Committee

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