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A lightly attended town meeting on Monday approved all articles on the warrant.

Dalton Town Meeting Passes Town, School Budgets

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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Finance Committee Chair William Drosehn addresses town meeting.
DALTON, Mass. — Voters unanimously passed 15 articles in a swift 30-minute annual town meeting on Monday night.
The lightly attended town meeting was held in the gym of Nessacus Regional Middle School, where 64 voters passed a fiscal 2022 town operating budget of $8,091,026 and an appropriation of $8,130,864 for the town's share of the Central Berkshire Regional School District budget.
The entire school district operating budget increased by $306,451 from this fiscal year. The FY22 total is $28,364,392, an increase of 1.09 percent.
Dalton's share of the district's capital budget of $1,366,667 and the town's portion of the transportation budget of $453,885, were also adopted. There was a faint "no" when the vote was called for the capital transportation budget, so it was not unanimous.
Per Monday's vote, the maximum amount that may be spent during fiscal 2022 beginning on July 1 for the revolving funds is as follows:
  • Plumbing inspector: $15,000
  • Electrical inspector: $10,000
  • Tree Warden/ Planning Board: $5,000
  • Cemetery Department: $2,500
  • Cemetery Department (gravestone maintenance): $5,000
  • Council on Aging, Transportation: $20,000
  • Council on Aging, Programs: $15,000
  • Legal advertising: $3,000
  • Parks maintenance: $2,000
  • Highway Department (Boom Mower): $9,000
As of March 31, the town has $937,125 in the general account and $1,216,028 in the capital account. Town meeting voted to move $300,000 to the town's various stabilization funds. Money from these accounts can be used for any purpose related to their establishment upon a two-thirds vote.
A transfer of $300,000 from free cash to the Other Post Employment Benefits Trust Fund was approved for the purpose of reducing the unfunded actuarial liability of health care and post-employment benefits.
The Select Board was authorized to negotiate a price and sell a parcel of land on View Street to an abuttor. Select Board Vice Chairman Joseph Diver said the land has not been used by the town for some time.
Earlier Monday, Thomas Hutcheson was sworn in as new town manager. The former Conway town administrator was offered the post in early February. He is the community's third town manager.
Longtime Town Accountant Sandra Albano stepped in as interim after Kenneth Walto left the position in early 2020. 
"There was a lot going on," she said. "The town manager is responsible for a lot of things and that was hard so I decided I would do it for the interim, and then go back to my accounting job, which is my favorite job."
Finance Committee Chair William Drosehn recognized her contribution to the FY22 budget while acting as interim town manager amidst a markedly difficult year. She was presented with a bouquet of flowers at the beginning of the meeting.
"I knew the budget process inside it outright, getting the work accomplished in the timeframe of Select Board meetings, that was my only struggle," Albano said.
Drosehn said it was a "difficult year" and they were all "spread quite thin."
The town election will be held Monday, May 10, from 11 to 7 at the Dalton Community House.

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Friends of the Pittsfield Senior Center Seek Volunteers

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Friends of the Senior Center is in need of more volunteers so it can provide more opportunities at the Ralph J. Froio Senior Center.
"The Senior Center is a structure that is financed by the city of Pittsfield, but it's the friends that really support all the extra activities that take place in the Senior Center," said Friends' Treasurer Lea Morgan said.
The center was renamed and dedicated to Ralph J. Froio by the city in 1993 for in recognition of his civil leadership and the "countless hours in volunteer service to his community, especially in senior citizens’ affairs," the Council on Aging states on the city website
There are people today who allocate a lot of their time to brainstorm ideas, and provide opportunities for center visitors but a lot of people who visit the center have not joined as a member of the Friends, Morgan said. 
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