BECKET -- A new grader for the Highway Department, triple the funds for septic system inspections and a nearly $5 million operating budget were among the spending items Town Meeting approved for the new fiscal year.

Voters on Saturday backed the borrowing of $385,000 for a grader used to smooth out the town’s dirt roads, replacing one that’s nearly 20 years old.

Voters also approved the Board of Health’s request for increasing expenses from the current $6,000 to $19,500 in fiscal 2015 starting July 1. The boost in public health spending will cover, in part, the cost of hiring Berkshire Public Health Alliance to conduct Title V inspections, the state regulation governing the local oversight of septic systems. The added funds also will pay for training the three-member Board of Health, all in their first year on the panel.

Overall, Becket in fiscal 2015 will operate the town with a $4.98 million budget -- a 2.6 percent increase over the current spending plan that runs out June 30.

Town Meeting supported $20,000 toward improving access to the Becket Athenaeum, along with funds to upgrade Town Hall, purchase a new sander and police cruiser.

Voters also supported a citizen-petition article urging Becket to fight the proposed expansion of the Tennessee Gas Pipeline. So far, the planned route doesn’t include Becket.

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