Cheshire Town Meeting Approves All Warrant Articles
CHESHIRE, Mass. — All four warrant articles were approved at Monday's special town meeting, appropriating more than $200,000 for building maintenance and stabilization.
About 30 voters were present for the meeting, which was held in the former Cheshire School's cafeteria. Selectman Shawn McGrath opened the meeting by explaining the town's revenue is slightly higher than expected, allowing for extra money allocation.
"We had excess revenues that have exceeded what we originally started with in the budgeting process," he said. "But this is not in any way shape or form an increase to proposition two-and-a-half or anything like that. It's allocating those excess funds into what we would refer as far as line items budgets."
Article 4 appropriates $92,000 to fund the town's stabilization account. Prior to the approval of the article, the account had just over $450,000 in it.
Finance Committee Chair John Tremblay explained that this appropriation could go towards a number of town building projects. The committee went on a tour of facilities needing repairs last week.
"Basically, we're playing catch up, as you guys know, in a lot of these areas," he said. "We funded equipment over the years, but really didn't repair our buildings in the ways that we probably should have. So we're basically catching up right now, and putting money into stabilization allows us to fund them on a pay as you go basis and not taking loans for things."
Article 1 raises $25,000 to replace the heating system in the cafeteria in the school building.
Selectmen Chair Michelle Francesconi said the current heating system is inefficient and outdated. She said the wider building's heating system is one of the projects that stabilization could help fund.
"The remaining elbow of this building is heated very inefficiently right now and needs to have significant work done to it," she said.
Article 2 allocates $70,000 for heating repairs to the fire station. An assessment of the fire station estimated that repairs to the entire building would cost about $1.3 million.
Article 3 appropriates $13,203 to fund the facilities manager position for increased hours, up to 35 from 24. Town Moderator Carol Francesconi clarified that the appropriation is for the extra hours, not the entire salary.
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