Little Monroe, big Town Meeting warrant

  • Town of Monroe town Hall and Library. PAUL FRANZ

Recorder Staff
Published: 6/20/2018 10:09:18 PM

MONROE — Voters in the state’s second smallest town by population will meet next week to adopt a budget, municipal salaries and possibly a new tractor.

Monroe’s annual Town Meeting will be Monday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall. The warrant has 35 articles.

The most expensive item to be voted is the town’s fiscal year 2019 operating budget of $340,126, an increase of $22,021 over this year’s $318,105 budget.

Key drivers for the proposed operating budget are insurance, an $80,000 line item; the highway superintendent’s salary at $44,925.40; the highway driver’s salary at $42,153.80 and $35,000 for the machinery account.

Also to be voted are the salaries of town officers, totaling $43,303.60, about $2,000 more than this year’s combined salaries — however, this year’s salaries collectively decreased compared to the 2017 fiscal year by about $3,000.

Monroe’s school assessments are $237,429 for the North Berkshire School Union — compared to this year’s $201,396 — and $47,293 for the North Berkshire Vocational School District’s operating expenses.

In addition, the town will decide whether to allow the Selectboard to enter into a five-year agreement to lease and buy a John Deere tractor with a 20-foot-by-4-foot mower for $130,000.

Monroe needs 14 registered voters to show up to Town Meeting in order to have quorum, but Article 34 on the warrant would reduce that number to five registered voters if passed.

The town’s Free Cash reserves — unspent revenues from previous fiscal years — play a role in many of the articles. The following projects and proposals would be funded by Free Cash and require a two-thirds majority vote to pass:

$139,232.90 to “reclaim and blacktop” a 1.5 mile section of Main Road (with remaining payment on the project from Chapter 90 funds).

$26,000 to pay for the first annual payment of the John Deere tractor and mower — if that article passes.

$30,000 for repairs and improvements to the Town Hall.

$71,622.61 to pay the principal and interest on notes and bonds issues in relation to the USDA Waste Water Disposal Loan/Grant for Rural Communities.

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