With just over three weeks to go it is time to help voters prepare for the decisions they will be making. The Annual Town Meeting (ATM) will take place on Monday, June 21 starting at 6:30 on the athletic field at the Middle-High School. The rain date is Wednesday, June 23. The Town Annual Report and the Finance Committee Report containing all the warrant articles will be delivered to all residents by June 13. The warrant is available now on the Town’s web site.
Articles up for debate/votes include the standard budgetary articles – town operating and capital, school operating and debt service, funding for the vocational school, our OPEB trust, and the Park and Recreation revolving fund (program fees collected and expended for the programs.) We also have the annual list of proposed Community Preservation projects as recommended by the Community Preservation Committee (CPC.)
Each year, taxpayers pay a 1.5% surcharge on their property tax bill that helps fund the Community Preservation account. We also receive an annual match from the State – it started out as a 100 percent match but is now in the 30 percent range. Annually we receive around $500,000 in CP funds. Unspent funds remain available for a subsequent year.
The CPC receives applications for projects in three categories – Community Housing, Open Space and Recreation, and Historic Preservation. At least 10 percent of the funds received must be allocated to each of these categories. Up to 5 percent of annual funding can be allocated toward administrative expenses. For next year, the CPC is again requesting $20,000 for administrative expenses.
There are 11 projects proposed for CP funding in FY22. These 11 have been endorsed by the CPC, the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee. Proposed projects include:
All told a total of $623,004 in CP projects is proposed with all but roughly a $100,000 coming from previous year receipts that have accumulated. The projects will be presented and voted on at the upcoming Annual Town Meeting.