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Lanesborough Town Meeting Tuesday

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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The town is going ahead with its annual town meeting on Tuesday but with plenty of precautions in place. 
The meeting is set for Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the elementary school and doors will open at 5 to allow everyone to be safely seated. 
Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, there will be a line to register with everyone standing 6-feet apart and masks should be worn in line and when social distancing is not possible. Emergency medical technicians will taking temperatures with a noninvasive device and town officials are encouraging everyone attending to have their temperature taken. 
Those who can't wear a mask for medical reasons will use a designated area to keep them away from others to prevent infection from COVID-19. 
Attendees will arrive, those in the same households will keep 6 feet apart from others in line; have temperatures taken prior to entering the school, if they so wish; have access to hand sanitizer on entering and exiting; will proceed to the gym after registering and take a seat. At the end of the meeting, they will leave single file and place their voting device in a designated box and throw away any disposable protective gear.  
In between, Lanesborough will be voting on an operating budget of $10,250,186, down $1,163,203.79 from this year or 10 percent. The budget recommended by the Finance Committee and Select Board is slightly higher than that initially requested by the town manager. 
The spending plan is seeing an significant drop in borrowing debt, down $472,184, and $563,093.79 in general government. There are also reductions in Berkshire County Retirement ($30,083), Health Department ($31,600), Public Works ($82,000), and town treasurer ($53,230).
The town's assessment to the Mount Greylock Regional School District is $5,761,836, down $7,413 from this year. The McCann Technical School assessment is $284,968, down $69,279 from this year. 
Most increases were minor, with the larger lines being an increase of $12,500 in the Baker Road District, town collector ($52,812), technology services ($5,600), and town clerk ($5,089).
Also on the warrant is a request to vote to transfer $225,000 for a rescue vehicle for the Fire Department; the funds would come from three stabilization accounts. The article, No. 3, requires a two-thirds vote. Article 4 asks for authorization to appropriate $25,432.46 and transfer a similar sum from the Baker Hill Road District Fund for the purpose of purchasing a new police vehicle. 
Article 5 and 6 refer to a piece of donated land and purchased land, respectively. The first parcel, 5.1 acres, is being donated; the second, 4.988 acres, would require a vote to authorize a transfer of free cash of $75,000. The purchased piece is on Orebed Road below the landfill. Purchasing it would prevent anyone from building there and would provide a new gravel bed for the Department of Public Works.
Article 13 asks to appropriate $58,000 for the repair of sidewalks at Lanesborough Elementary School; 
A number of articles deal with regular transfers from enterprise and other accounts for operations, salaries and matching grants and the use of $276,000 from free cash to reduce the tax rate. 
Article 19 deals with adopting a provision of state law that would allow the member of a town panel to vote during an adjudicatory hearing even if they had missed one hearing on the matter, as long as the member certifies in writing they have reviewed any testimony. 
Articles 20-22 deal with marijuana, including limiting the number of cultivators, adopting a 3 percent sales tax, and amending the uses. 

Tags: lanesborough_budget,   town meeting 2020,   

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Lanesborough's King Elmer Treated for Broken Limbs

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

The break can be seen in the center, where a hole in the trunk allowed a family of raccoons to take up residence last year. 
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — King Elmer lost part of his crown this week.
Once the tallest elm in Massachusetts, the more than 250-year-old tree is now missing at least 10 foot section from his topmost branches from a combination of a weak trunk and winds from Tropical Storm Isaias that blew through the region Tuesday.
"It is 107 feet and I think that was part of the highest section," said James Neureuther, chairman of the Lanesborough Tree and Forest Committee. "It's probably a little shorter than it was now. It'd be hard to know but we may have lost 10 feet."
That, he noted, was like losing a whole tree.
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