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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Greylock and Credit Union of the Berkshires Agree to Merger
PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Greylock Federal Credit Union and Credit Union of the Berkshires (CUB), both of Pittsfield, have reached a definitive merger agreement subject to the approval of the CUB membership and regulatory agencies.
"We are pleased that Greylock and Credit Union of the Berkshires have reached this merger agreement," said Greylock President and CEO John L. Bissell. "We know that the credit union difference remains strong in Berkshire County. We look forward to completing the merger and
combining the resources of CUB and Greylock to help the community thrive."
With final approval of the merger, Greylock will assume CUB's nearly $23 million in assets.
The downtown branch will crank out juices and smoothies at 48 North St., the former Brooklyn's Best. It is a 650-square-foot space that owner Jonathan Vella said he has always loved because "it is that tiny perfect little hole in the wall."
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BRPC's Executive Committee unanimously approved the document on Thursday, which includes concerns for proposals that will eliminate Great Barrington and Lee/Lenox as urban clusters and reclassify the urban area of Pittsfield.
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On Friday morning, Mayor Linda Tyer delivered "breaking news" that the parade will be canceled this year for the second time since 1977. It was also canceled last year due to the novel coronavirus.
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