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Williamstown Fire District Election, Meeting Tuesday

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Fire District will hold its annual election and meeting on Tuesday at Williamstown Elementary School.
The polls will open at 6 p.m. for the annual election of officers and close at 8 p.m., to be followed by the meeting, where voters will be asked to approve, among other things, the district's nearly half-million dollar operating budget for fiscal year 2020.
One item on the meeting warrant is a complement to an article that passed without commen at last week's annual town meeting.
Without debate, town voters on a voice vote authorized the Select Board to seek a permanent easement on a Main Street parcel that the fire district purchased with the intention of building a new fire station.
Article 2 on the fire district warrant would authorize the Prudential Committee to convey said easement.
The Prudential Committee, members of which will be elected in Tuesday's balloting, oversees the fire district, a separate municipal entity with its own taxing authority, like the Select Board oversees the town.
Another non-routine item on Tuesday's meeting warrant also relates to 562 Main St., which district voters decided to purchase in 2017.
Article 10, the final item on Tuesday's agenda, will ask district voters whether to spend $30,000 for "study, engineering, maintenance, permitting, clearing, filling, grading or other costs" related to property, "in preparation for future construction."
As for the operating budget, Article 5 on Tuesday's agenda, the Prudential Committee is proposing a budget of $488,151, an increase of $7,400, or 1.5 percent, from the budget approved for FY19.

Tags: fire district,   prudential committee,   town elections,   

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Mount Greylock Committee Hears Concerns About Turf Field Plan

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

Rubber infill from the turf field at Weston Field adheres to a reporter's leg after a minute lying down on the surface to take a photo.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock School Committee last week declined to slow plans for installing an artificial turf field at the middle-high school but members noted that there is still time to weigh health and environmental concerns before shovels go into the ground.
The full School Committee earlier in the spring authorized the Phase 2 grounds subcommittee to put the turf field out to bid this summer.
Since that time, committee members have heard from a number of residents concerned about studies that have linked "infill" materials in used in turf fields to higher rates of cancer and environmental contamination due to runoff from those fields.
"Some of the chemicals found in crumb rubber are known to cause cancer," a fact sheet from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at University of Massachusetts at Lowell reads in part. Because of the large number of chemicals present in the infill, as well as the health effects of individual chemicals, crumb rubber made from recycled tires is the option that likely presents the most concerns related to chemical exposures."
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