LEE -- The acquisition of a new fire truck and spending more for municipal insurance highlight Thursday night's special town meeting.

Town meeting representatives will gather at 7 p.m. in the Lee Middle and High School auditorium to act on an eight-article warrant.

In the final article, the Board of Selectmen are requesting $447,000 from the town's stabilization fund to be used toward a new fire engine. Since fiscal 2009, annual town meeting voters each year have set aside money for the fire truck purchase.

Lee Fire Chief Alan Sparks said the firefighting vehicle will replace one more than 30 years old.

"The new pumper truck will be an upgrade and include a 30-gallon tank for foam to help put out car and chemical fires," Sparks said.

If the stabilization fund transfer is approved by a two-thirds majority, the nearly $105,000 left in the fund will be earmarked for the town's next fire truck purchase scheduled for fiscal 2016.

Meanwhile, the special town meeting is being asked to increase the town's property, liability and auto insurance funding, a total of $12,000.

Town Administrator Robert Nason cited a revaluation of town property, for insurance purposes, and inflationary costs as reasons for the added funds. He noted the increase occurred after the annual town meeting in May approved the town budget for the current fiscal 2013 that began July 1.

The sudden spike in insurance costs has town officials exploring other insurers for next year.


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"During the first quarter of 2013, we will seek competitive proposals for our property and casualty insurance coverage for [fiscal 2014]," Nason said.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.