Hinsdale voters to decide on proposed 4 percent budget increase


HINSDALE -- Voters will consider 49 articles and the town’s $5.2 million fiscal 2015 operating budget at Hinsdale’s annual town meeting on Wednesday.

The proposed spending plan represents a 4 percent increase over the town’s current $5.02 million budget.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Kittredge School on 80 Maple St.

Besides allocations for general government expenses, highways, schools, and law enforcement, voters also will be asked to consider the adoption of a right-to-farm bylaw.

The proposed bylaw, one of four articles placed on the warrant by citizens petition, is intended to protect and promote the pursuit of agricultural enterprises and their benefits to the community, notify Hinsdale property owners and buyers that such a measure exists, and to provide a dispute resolution process if conflict arise between a citizen, or the town and a farmer.

Other articles placed on the warrant by citizens petition articles include a measure that request the highway superintendent’s job become a salaried position, and another seeking to make the police chief a part-time employee. The change in the highway superintendent’s position has not been recommended by the Finance Committee.

The fourth measure asks voters to consider overruling the Selectmen’s dismissal of Transfer Station Manager Bruce Stetson, and restoring him to that position effective immediately.

The big ticket item is the town’s $2.4 million share of the fiscal 2015 Central Berkshire Regional School District budget, which is an increase of $41,218, or 1.8 percent, from Hinsdale’s current assessment. Voters will also be asked to consider the town’s $60,815 share of the school district’s transportation budget, and $369,617 for education and tuition expenses for the town’s vocational students. That latter item is some $45,000 less than current spending.

Among the town government items, voters will be asked to consider $385,155 in highway spending, $340,986 in unclassified expenses, $275,458 for general government expenses, $209,814 for the Police Department, $134,935 for health and sanitation, and $61,700 for the Fire Department.

Veterans expenses have increased by $24,000 to $47,500 solely because of a proposed rise in the line item for Veterans Aid. The four other measures in that category have been level funded.

Both the Select Board and Finance Committee have recommended that voters not approve a $43,864 appropriation for any additional full-time labor in the Department of Public Works. A $43,000 transfer from the free cash account for a Highway Department pickup is recommended by the Select Board, but not recommended by the Finance Committee.


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