BOS to Review ATM Warrant, Election Papers Deadline Monday


At its next meeting on Monday, March 25 the Essex Board of Selectmen will take up what looks to be the final draft of the warrant for Essex’s Annual Town Meeting (ATM) on May 6.

At this stage, the draft warrant has 24 articles for voters to weigh in on. Typically, an ATM's major focus is financing operations, and the draft warrant reflects that. However, this year, two focus areas may prompt discussion or debate. The first is the FY2025 Manchester-Essex Regional School District Budget, up 2.9% from last year.  

The other topic that could be the subject of discussion is the Essex Planning Board’s articles to make changes to the town’s zoning bylaw (although last fall, the PB’s articles were expected to prompt debate, and they were passed easily with little discussion). 

On Monday, the BOS will determine how the PB’s ATM business should be organized, and and will likely add several articles to the list of articles already on the warrant.

The BOS has wiggle room to finalize and take on late changes to the warrant before it goes to print, but the board may sign off on the document as soon as Monday. 

What will be asked to approve?  Among the items voters will weigh in on:

  • Approval for FY2025 of wage and salary ranges for town personnel;
  • Approval to transfer of funds from the Essex Town Septic Betterment Fund to pay debt service to the FY2025 Massachusetts Clean Water Trust;
  • Town Meeting vote to raise and appropriate or transfer from available funds the town charges and expenditures in FY2025;
  • Funding for the Sewer Enterprise Fund for the remainder of FY2024;
  • Funding of the FY2025 Sewer Enterprise Fund;
  • Funding of the Water Enterprise Fund for the remainder of FY2024 and for FY2025;
  • Funding of the Town's share of the Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School District budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2024;
  • Approve and fund the Gross Operating and Maintenance Budget of the Manchester-Essex Regional School District;
  • To Essex’s share of a feasibility study to renovate or replace the Essex Elementary School;
  • To make a series of changes to the town’s zoning bylaw;
  • Approve revising the fee for a transfer station sticker from $150 to some other amount for those under the age of 65, and/or from $75 to some other amount for those 65 years of age and older, and/or from $0 to some other amount for a second sticker within a given household; and further, to revise the fee for the purchase of a “small” trash bag (15-gallon) from $2.50 to some other amount and the fee for the purchase of a “large” trash bag (33-gallon) from $4.75 to some other amount; all to be incorporated into the Town’s pay-as-you-throw solid waste disposal program; said fees to be effective for stickers and bags purchased beginning July 1;
  • Approve funding for the improvement of the Centennial Grove;
  • Approve funding to complete a fiber optic municipal area network extension between the Water Filtration Plant and the Centennial Grove and for the installation of wired and
  • wireless devices at the Centennial Grove to facilitate electronic communication and security monitoring at the Centennial Grove, including design, installation, purchase of equipment and any other related supplies or expenses;
  • Approve annual funding for the Community Preservation Fund and any related special projects or transfers;
  • Approve funding for Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) and related expenses;
  • Approve funding for the purchase of replacement tasers for the Police Department and related expenses;
  • Approve the purchase of a heavy-duty utility pickup truck with crane for use in the Water and Wastewater Departments;

The BOS meeting will start at 6 p.m. Monday, March 25, in the 3rd floor meeting room of Town Hall.

In other business ...

In other business, the deadline for returning signed papers from candidates to run for open seats on town boards is Monday, March 25.  Return properly signed papers to the Town Clerk’s office by 5 p.m.  As a reminder, the May town election will be for the following open seats: two seats on the Board of Assessors (1yr term and a 3yr term); a Board of Selectmen seat (3yr term); a Board of Health seat (3yr term); a Regional School Committee seat (3yr term); two seats on the Board of Library Trustees (2yr term and a 3yr term); a Housing Authority seat (5yr term); and, finally, two Planning Board seats (5yr term each).

Any questions, call (978) 768-7111 (ext. 3).  And remember, the polls will be open on Monday, May 13, 2024 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Essex Public Safety Facility, 11 John Wise Avenue, Essex.