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Lanesborough Town Meeting to Decide 2023 Budget, Recall Petition

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Voters will take up an annual town meeting warrant with 19 articles on Saturday, which includes a changing the name of the Board of Selectmen and a citizen's petition for recalling elected officials.


Town meeting will be held beginning at noon on Saturday, May 21, at Lanesborough Elementary School.


Article 15, if approved, would change the name of the Board of Selectmen to the Select Board and to revise the bylaws to reflect it.


Article 19, a citizen's petition, would create legislation for the town to conduct recall elections. The article stipulates that two-thirds of the vote would be necessary to remove an incumbent in a potential recall election. 


Recalled incumbents would not be eligible for appointment to another town office for the year following the recall election. If the article is approved, voters would not be able to recall an incumbent from office within the first six months of taking office. 


One of the first articles on the warrant will be the vote on estimated $10.4 Million town budget for fiscal 2023 that includes a $6 million assessment to the Mount Greylock Regional School District. 


Town Administrator Joshua Lang said he had several goals for the budget, including retaining staff, organizational development, improving the town's technology and updating town policies.


Other significant expenses are Articles 4 and 4, which would appropriate $498,200 for ambulance enterprise operations, to be under the direction of EMS Director Jennifer Weber. The town will raise $106,000 of this appropriation via user fees. 


Article 6 would allow the ambulance enterprise to expend $15,000 of retained earnings to cover unforeseen costs from fiscal 2022. 


Also related to emergency services, Article 17 proposes the town submit a letter to the state Legislature asking to support local financial efforts for ambulance, fire and other emergency management services. 


Article 9 would appropriate $247,177 to the Baker Hill Road for police salaries and an expenses account for fiscal 2023. This funding would come from money the town will receive from the district. Additionally, Article 14, if approved, will transfer $30,000 from the district fund to fund the purchase of a new police vehicle. 


Article 7 would appropriate $66,860.00 for sewer enterprise operations. Additionally, Article 13 would use $43,000 in free cash to pay for a sewer compliance study conducted in fiscal 2022. 


Article 11 would create an other post-employment benefits liability trust fund to be managed by the town treasurer. Article 12 proposes to transfer $50,000 from free cash into this fund. 


Article eight proposes an appropriation of $31,700 to the Local Access Television Enterprise Fund, $15,000 of which will come from user fees. 


Article 10 would transfer $47,823.45 from free cash to pay Department of Public Works Director William Decelles for unused sick leave and vacation upon retirement, as agreed in his contract.


Article 16 proposes reducing the age of senior citizen eligibility from 70 years to 65 years and increasing the current amount of the exemption from $500 to $1,000. This change, if approved, would go into affect at the start of fiscal 2023. 


Article 18 will decide if a town-owned 19-acre property at North Main Street, designated for use as a community center, can be used for general municipal purposes. 


The complete town warrant is available on the town website.

Tags: town meeting 2022,   

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