SHEFFIELD -- In less than two hours, voters breezed through the annual town meeting warrant, approving all articles save for one that had been withdrawn.
The Board of Selectmen withdrew the article for a program that would have let people over 60 volunteer and provide services to lower their property tax by as much as $1,000. It was withdrawn so more research can be done.
The other 28 articles were passed on Monday night without amendments, according to Town Clerk Felecie Joyce. The meeting at Mount Everett Regional High School drew 233 of 2,312, or 10 percent, of the registered voters.
Voters approved a $9.85 million budget for fiscal 2015, a 2.1 percent increase over the current spending plan. In addition, the town narrowly approved an article empowering the Historical Commission to delay the demolition of buildings deemed historically significant up to a year.
Voters approved a citizen-petitioned article calling for a moratorium on smart meters, which relay information on residential power consumption to utility companies. Smart meters don’t yet exist in the Berkshires, but some people are concerned the technology invades personal privacy and poses health problems.
Nina Anderson, president of The Scientific Alliance for Education, which filed the petition, said the moratorium would prevent the appearance of unattractive utility poles and antennas. The moratorium would be in effect until the town’s electric company, National Grid, develops a community opt-out program.
To reach John Sakata:
or (413) 496-6240.
On Twitter: @jsakata