New fire truck heads Sunderland warrant

  • Recorder/Paul FranzSunderland Town Flag with sycamore tree and Connecticut River PAUL FRANZ

Recorder Staff
Published: 4/22/2018 10:51:36 PM

SUNDERLAND — Residents are being asked to approve a number of capital spending requests with a new fire truck for roughly $536,868 leading the way, in addition to the $8 million town budget.

The town is asking for a new, all-wheel-drive pumper tanker for its Fire Department. The Selectboard proposal will require a majority vote to pass at the Annual Town Meeting on Friday.

Voters will be asked to allow for an exemption to Proposition 2½ to help pay for the $8 million budget as a ballot question on May 5, to raise the additional $200,000 outside the limits. This could increase the current tax rate of $15 to $15.57, which would result in about $159 increase in the annual amount of taxes for the average homeowner, according to the Selectmen’s office. Sunderland is in the bottom third of tax rates in the area, according to numbers provided by the town’s office, with only Erving and Rowe sporting a lower tax rate in the county.

Some of the reasons for the increase in the budget are: a $115,000 increase in cost to run the elementary school; a $70,000 increase in costs to the Franklin Technical School and a $58,000 increase in costs to Frontier Regional School; a $51,000 increase in costs for committees and boards, almost exclusively from a $2,000 to $53,000 cost for the telecommunication committee; an $18,000 increase in cost of the Selectboard, primarily a jump from $5,000 to $18,000 to pay for Town Counsel; a $29,000 increase in the police department, a $37,000 increase in the fire department, an $18,000 increase in the highway department and a $37,000 increase to the wastewater and treatment plant; but, one significant drop in cost comes from running town buildings, with solar energy helping to save about $37,000.

The town is requesting almost $325,000 in other capital requests in addition that do not require a Proposition 2½ override

Other capital requests include: $94,000 for its highway department, $76,000 for police, $90,000 for administration, $33,000 for the school, $14,000 for the library and $18,500 for recreation.

A F250 truck with a plow, a two-year lease for another truck and a new mower are among the highway department requests. The police are seeking to replace a crusier at a cost of $47,000.

Other items of note include a total of about $80,000 from two accounts of the Community Preservation Act fund to pay for the building of a new park and accessible river walk, with a picnic area, near School Street.

The town will also ask for about $8,300 to help pay for a John Deere tractor for the Frontier Regional School District. The tractor is not expected to cost more than $35,000.

An article by citizen petition calls for a “Sunderland Anti-Corruption Resolution” that would state the town takes a position that “tough, new anti-corruption laws for politicians, lobbyists and outside groups such as super PACs are necessary in order to protect and promote the First Amendment as the most stakeholders in government instead of major donors.”

The article requires a majority vote to pass.

There are also a host of positions up, which will be voted on May 5 at the Sunderland Elementary School. These include: one selectman for a three year seat; two elementary school committee members for three-year seats; one assessor for a three year seat; one board of health member for a three year seat; one planning board member for a five year seat; one moderator for a one year seat; one Riverside Cemetery trustee for a three year seat and three library trustees for three-year seats.

An additional ballot question will ask if the town is willing to use $200,000 in real estate and property taxes to help fund the budgets of the town and the public schools.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy