Becket Annual Town Meeting to consider 2.5 percent spending hike


BECKET >> Voters on Saturday will consider whether to approve a 2.5 percent budget increase as well as funds for park improvement, service vehicles and improvements to the Town Hall.

All 30 of this year's warrant articles carry the recommendation of both the Select Board and the Finance Committee.

The $5.2 million budget for fiscal 2017 reflects an increase of about $127,000 over the current year's plan.

The annual town meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Becket Washington School, 12 Maple St.

Within that new budget are a proposed 2.7 percent increase to the overall highway budget, a 10.5 percent increase to the personal and property protection budget — which includes the police and fire budgets — and an 18.1 percent increase to the Health and Sanitation Budget.

The proposed education budget shows a slight decrease to $2.14 million.

Article 16 asks voters to consider appropriating $38,600 to replace a 2011 Crown Victoria police cruiser and Article 17 seeks $37,000 to replace one of the Town Hall's ramps to bring it in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Article 20 hopes to have $186,251 appropriated to cover the costs of a new loader for the Highway Department and Article 21 likewise asks for $225,000 for a new rescue pumper vehicle for the Fire Department.

Article 24 asks voters to consider a total of $75,000 from two different reserve accounts to install a swing set and play equipment and perform other work at the Becket Center Park.

The final article seeks voter approval to allow the town to purchase the house and property at 21 Maple St. The town hopes to use that space to provide parking for the two nearby parks and overflow parking for events like the town meeting.

The town's purchase of the property also would allow it to make improvements to the Maple Street Bridge including widening it and installing a sidewalk, according to information included with the warrant.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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