DALTON — One-hundred-eighty-seven voters on Monday blocked a citizen petition to cut off pay and benefits for the Select Board while approving a $15.96 million budget to fund the town for fiscal 2017.
Those who attended the annual town meeting at Wahconah Regional High School found little to disagree about, passing almost all warrant articles in a short period of time.
The session was in sharp contrast to the 2015 meeting, when contentious citizen petitions aiming to end visits to Dalton by circuses featuring animal acts and ban plastic bags and polystyrene containers in town had residents arguing in the auditorium.
The only citizen's petition on the ballot on Monday — a proposal from Select Board candidate Margaret Cahill to eliminate Select Board pay and health insurance benefits — was soundly defeated, 129 to 58.
Residents then approved the biggest spending item — the town's Central Berkshire Regional School District budget share of $7.93 million. Dalton's assessment declined 1.58 percent from fiscal 2016 assessment of $8.1 million.
Under the town budget approved Monday, up less than one percent over fiscal 2016's, average single-family tax bills would increase by $39 and the tax rate would remain below $20 per $1,000 of valuation.
Town officials used the opportunity Monday to promote public meetings that will be held concerning the recently drafted Dalton Master Plan. The first of these meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, at Dalton Senior Center.
Contact Phil Demers at 413-496-6214.