Tuesday May 22, 2012

RICHMOND -- Voters will consider 27 articles and a $1.5 million fiscal 2013 spending plan on Wednesday at the annual town meeting.

The proposed spending plan represents an increase of 4.5 percent, or $66,787, from the town's current $1.48 million budget.

The proposed budget does not include a $2.9 million appropriation that voters will consider for Richmond schools.

"The town budget represents the non-school budget," Town Manager Matthew M. Kerwood said.

The large money items also include the transfer of $216,338 for the sewer enterprise fund and an appropriation of $144,888 for the principal and an interest payment on the school bond. All of the warrant's spending items have been approved by the Finance Committee.

Voters will also be asked to consider a measure that would add a "stretch energy code" to the town's bylaws that will provide guidelines for the effective use of energy in the design and construction of buildings.

The measure, which was defeated by voters in the town of Washington last week, is one of five criteria that state municipalities need to adapt to be considered "Green Communities" under the state's building code.

Other measures include a $125,000 appropriation from the town's free cash account toward the construction of a new storage building at 40 Fire House Lane. Previous allocations at town meeting have gone toward the demolition of the existing structure, which begins on May 29, Kerwood said.

There's also a measure asking voters to consider the appropriation of $20,000 in free cash for safety improvements to Center Cemetery. Center is one of four town cemeteries, but the only one that is still in use.

"The driveway in front of the cemetery is really a safety concern," Kerwood said.

Other spending items request a $9,000 appropriation to hire a consultant to assist in long range planning for the town. If approved, Kerwood said the town plans to hire the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission to assist in the long term study.

Also, voters will decide upon $15,000 to conduct a comprehensive engineering and energy audit of the Richmond Consolidated School building.




If you go ...

What: Richmond Town Meeting

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Richmond Consolidated School, 1831 State Road (Route 41)