The meeting, held on the lawn of the Senior Center because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, swiftly approved a town budget of $4,565,710 and the purchase of a new Department of Public Works truck for $250,000.
Town meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Center at 712 West Cross Road. The meeting will be set up in the parking lot and there will be provisions for keep people separate because of the pandemic; voters are encouraged to bring their own chairs and umbrellas.
The Select Board on Wednesday voted to approve a decision by the Board of Health to open the library, Senior Center and Town Hall next month to limited access and in accord with the state's reopening plan.
Town Moderator Chris Dodig kicked off the meeting by explaining the town's thought process in deciding to have the meeting at all despite the novel cooronavirus pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the municipal budget process across the state and forced many towns to postpone meetings and even some to go so far as to consider holding them outdoors.
Select Board Chairman Ronald Boucher said at Wednesday's meeting that he and Town Administrator Rebecca Stone had spoken with Norman Rolnick of the Board of Health. The closure of town buildings "will remain status quo," he said.
The fiscal 2021 budget has to be approved at town meeting by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, which might prove difficult given the social distancing guidelines — an auditorium full of people would violate every current regulation. If town meeting were postponed past that date, the town would have to revert back to its 2020 budget and work on a month-to-month basis.
On Tuesday at Town Hall, the board will hold the public hearing mandated under state law to present all three proposals to voters for comment and possible revision in advance of their inclusion on the town meeting warrant.