Wednesday, April 23, 2014 07:56am
North Adams, MA now: 43 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
Lenox Survey Speaks Volumes
By: Nichole Dupont On: 10:56AM / Tuesday December 21, 2010
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

LENOX, Mass. — The town released results last week of a 2010 municipal services survey that found nearly half the respondents would support cuts to departments. It's the first time residents have been surveyed about town matters in years.

The purpose of the survey was to determine which services are of highest priority among residents as, according to the introduction of the questionnaire, the town faces "the prospect of either needing to reduce services to keep in line with the financial resources available" or seek "voter approval for a Proposition 2 1/2 override in order to increase our property tax revenues to pay for the services you want."

"The town did a survey back in the late '90s when it was developing its master plan. This is the first that we've done since then," said Town Manager Gregory Federspiel. "We are hoping to do one every year, maybe one short one and a longer comprehensive one every other year."

Property owners will pay $10.49 per $1,000 valuation this fiscal year, up from $9.92 in fiscal 2010 and up about a $1.50 from 2008. The commercial rate is $14.02, up from $13.50 in 2010.

Nearly 1,800 surveys were distributed via town utility bills and saw a return rate of roughly half, a relatively good turnout for any public survey (or special vote for that matter). While the respondents are overwhelmingly satisfied with the municipal services provided by the town (901 satisfied versus 54 not satisfied), many saw the need for cuts in services.

When asked if the cuts should be the same percentage across the board or different percentages, 412 were in favor of across-the-board cuts while 487 wanted to review services and make cuts based on priority needs. Service-reduction votes varied by department, which included administration, education, elder services, road maintenance and plowing, library, inspectors, public safety and youth programs.

Those who wanted to reduce services such as road maintenance, safety and elder services were relatively few (under 100), but more than twice that indicated a desire to reduce services such as administration (234 total).

In addition to administrative cuts, respondents also preferred to cut education (144), library services (187), zoning/planning (222), inspectors (132) and youth programming (115).

Based on the above information, it's not surprising that 547 people voted against a property tax increase of more than 2.5 percent, which would supposedly allow the town to avoid service cuts altogether to the tune of  just over "$100 for the average homeowner." However, more than 400 voted in favor.

"This one wasn't as directive as we'd hoped," said Federspiel. "One thing that did come through was that people still want the services they are getting. We just have to figure out how we can keep providing them."

He said the survey was done with the intention of including it in the "throngs of the budget process." As far as a possible override question, that is something the Selectman need to seriously discuss since the survey didn't elicit an overwhelming response either way.

However, it is clear that Lenox, like other Berkshire towns, is feeling the budget crunch in every corner.

The results of the survey can be found here.



Tags: Lenox, Survey      
News Headlines
North Adams Hospital Closure Stretching Medical Services
Pittsfield Councilor Switches Vote To Approve Bus Purchases
Adams Community Bank Supports Medical Shuttle Service
'Food Truck Rodeo' On Tap For Pittsfield Downtown
Berkshire Runners Compete at Boston Marathon
Lanesborough Finance Panel Queries Health Insurance; Legion
Pittsfield City Council Agenda: April 22, 2014.
Klara's Gourmet Cookies Named Finalist for Award
COOL Committee Promoting LED Lightbulbs
Cultural Pittsfield This Week: April 18-24, 2014


Categories:
Culture (10)
History (3)
Museums (1)
Nature (5)
Real Estate (4)
Shopping (6)
Archives:
Tags:
Closing Fire Station Other New Pittsfield Celebrities School Great Birds Bakery Survey Bird Count Vacation Lenox Berkshire Humane Society Ideas Great Barrington Bartholomew's Cobble Karen Projectnorman Barrington Salt Lee Service Year's Verizon Archives Insects Brother Rene Wendell Darryl's Berkshire Mountain Contest Pink
Popular Entries:
The Last of the Insects
Schooled in Passion: Packer's "Women of Will" at Shake & Co.
New To Me: the Boho Exchange
Norman Rockwell Archive Goes Live Online
Could New Neighbors Be Wall Street Journal Heirs?
Late-Night Host Fallon Skis Butternut
Pittsfield Through the Lens
Is Verizon Making Good on Its Word?
Inside/Out not upside down
Third Thursday Feast
Recent Entries:
Schooled in Passion: Packer's "Women of Will" at Shake & Co.
A Place for Us: Re-Wear Brings Style to Sheffield
Richmond Still Looking For Town Clerk
The Last of the Insects
Is Verizon Making Good on Its Word?
Building Collapses in Great Barrington
Could New Neighbors Be Wall Street Journal Heirs?
Mother Nature is No Match for Cheese
Construct Running Out of Emergency Funds
Winter Breakdown at Ben's in Lee


View All
Lacrosse: Hoosac vs. Taconic
Baseball: Pittsfield vs Lee
Chad Shade went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Sam Fick...
Clarksburg Egg Scramble 2014
The annual Easter egg hunt, sponsored by the VFW, was held...
Pittsfield Egg Scramble 2014
The annual Egg Scramble at Morningside Community School saw...
Track: Monument @Hoosac...
Monument Mountain bested Hoosac Valley on its home turf...
Girls and Boys Tennis: PHS vs...
4-17-14 Girls and Boys tennis match between PHS vs Mt....
Softball: Lee vs Hoosac
4-14-14 Kassandra Kazimierczak went 2-for-4 with a double...
Baseball: MG vs Hoosac
4-11-14 Dan Flynn's suicide squeeze with the bases loaded...
Softball: MG vs McCann
4-11-14 Mount Greylock and McCann Tech played an atypical...
Sullivan School CPR Class
Seventh-graders at Sullivan School in North Adams learned...
Lacrosse: Mounties vs. Hoosac
Mounties overwhelmed Hoosac Valley on Wednesday 14-1....
North Adams Furnace St. Fire
Firefighters contained a top floor apartment blaze on...
Berkshire Chamber Career Fair...
More than 50 employers connected with job seekers at...
Lacrosse: MG vs St. Joe
Mount Greylock boys lacrosse team won 17-4 St. Joseph at...
Softball: MG vs Drury
4-8-14 Mount Greylock softball claimed a 7-2 victory over...
Wahconah High School Musical...
Wahconah Regional High School is putting on the 1930...
Lacrosse: Hoosac vs. Taconic
Baseball: Pittsfield vs Lee
Chad Shade went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Sam Fick...
Clarksburg Egg Scramble 2014
The annual Easter egg hunt, sponsored by the VFW, was held...
Pittsfield Egg Scramble 2014
The annual Egg Scramble at Morningside Community School saw...
Track: Monument @Hoosac...
Monument Mountain bested Hoosac Valley on its home turf...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved