Montague Town Meeting to consider $9.8M budget, library upgrades

Staff Writer
Published: 4/12/2019 5:37:58 PM

MONTAGUE — The town of Montague has released 40 articles that will be voted on at the Annual Town Meeting, including next year’s budgets, improvements to libraries, an infiltration study and three petitioned articles.

Town Meeting members will meet at the Turners Falls High School theater on Saturday, May 4 at 8:30 a.m. to vote on each of the articles.

Spending

Town Meeting members will vote on the following budget items:

■$1,085,007 for Franklin County Technical School — an 11.36 percent increase from this year’s amount of $974,338.

■$10,229,737 for the Gill-Montague Regional School District — a 4.27 percent increase from this year’s amount of $9,811,160.

■$53,078 for the Turners Falls airport — a 9.35 percent increase from this year’s amount of $48,539.

■$2,295,227 for the Water Pollution Control Facility — a 13.78 percent decrease from this year’s amount of $2,017,231.

The overall town budget proposal being voted on is $9,828,399, which is a 4.49 percent increase compared to this year’s overall budget of $9,406,018. This amount covers “general town operations” such as general government, public safety, employee benefits and public works.

The town’s “free cash” surplus will be used to fund one-time capital purchases.

One article involves the town voting whether to appropriate $20,000 from sewer user fees, for purchasing, equipping and making major repairs to Water Pollution Control Facility vehicles and equipment.

Voters will also decide whether to approve $25,500 from sewer user fees, for the purpose of obtaining a feasibility study for a composting facility for the Montague WPCF. The study would include the development of plans and specifications, cost estimates and location options.

Schools

In addition to the overall budgets, the town will also vote on other purchases for local schools, including repairing sidewalks at Turners Falls High School and Great Falls Middle School, installing columns at Sheffield Elementary School and purchasing a truck for the district. 

The sidewalks replacement and curbing project at Turners Falls High School is proposed to be $76,670 from free cash.

■$21,755, from free cash, is proposed to complete the installation of columns at the Sheffield Elementary School, including replacing wood trim, railings and masonry work at the landing.

■$35,344, from free cash, is proposed to purchase and equip a truck for the Gill Montague School District Facilities Management Department.

Infiltration study in Millers Falls

Town Meeting members will also vote to provide $50,000 for a study assessing inflow and infiltration to the public sewer system in Millers Falls and to provide options and cost estimates for its removal to be raised from sewer user fees.

Ballot box replacement

Another article on the warrant to replace the wooden ballot boxes and replace them with seven optical scanners to replace wooden ballot boxes for $50,000 from free cash.

Library improvements

Town meeting voters will decide whether to provide $10,000 from taxation, for the purpose of modifying the interior swinging doors and repairing and weatherizing the front doors of the Carnegie Library.

In a separate article, the town will also vote to provide $22,050 from free cash, for the purpose of making building improvements to remediate moisture problems at the Montague Center Library.

There is also an article to provide $20,000 from free cash, for the purpose of making building improvements to remediate moisture problems at the Millers Falls Library.

Petitioned articles

Voters will determine whether to adopt a resolution calling for the United States to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Another article calls for voters to adopt a resolution in support of changing the state flag and seal of Massachusetts. 

The article states:

The town will support of “a ‘Resolve Providing for the creation of a Special Commission relative to the Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth,’ and request Representative Natalie Blais and Senator Jo Comerford continue their strong advocacy and support for the aforementioned resolve in the General Court, and that the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, after holding a public hearing on the Resolve report it out favorably, and if the legislation shall pass that the governor shall sign it and work with members of the General Court to ensure its enactment.”

The final article in the warrant is a resolution declaring the town a “pollinator-friendly community.”

In the resolution, by being a pollinator-friendly community, the town would “encourages adoption of policies and practices that protect and support pollinator health by minimizing the sale and use of insecticides.”

Other articles include:

■$8,975 to restore the lower skirt of the Montague Town Hall front awning.

■$7,500 to refurbish or replacing signs at the Airport Industrial Park.

■$15,000 for the Montague Police Department to purchase police equipment such as firearms and accessories, computers and accessories, police cruiser equipment, department furniture, bullet-proof vests, Tasers and radios.




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