New Ashford to vote on funds for fire truck, broadband resolution


NEW ASHFORD — Voters on Tuesday will be asked to help fund the purchase of a tanker truck for the fire department, approve a $666,842 in spending, and endorse a resolution calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to authorize the resources necessary to make broadband service available to every residence.

Annual town meeting is set for 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 188 Mallery Road.

The last article in the warrant asks voters to back a resolution regarding the "critical need for immediate action on broadband service."

The resolution decries the lack of broadband service despite the efforts of the state's Middle Mile campaign and labels the lack of service a question of equal rights and fair representation "as guaranteed by the Massachusetts Bill of Rights."

It describes broadband as a "lifeline to our economic survival" and that the lack of service "thwarts" students' efforts to keep up with their education, and poses a health risk due to a lack of access to digital health care resources.

The resolution cites a bill passed in 2014 and signed by then-Gov. Deval Patrick that authorized $50 million for the Massachusetts Broadband Incentive Fund.

"Be it resolved that we, the residents of New Ashford, call upon the Baker/Polito Administration to commit all necessary resources to ensure the provision of wired broadband service to New Ashford in its entirety," the document reads.

In Article 13, voters are asked to authorize $15,000, or no more than 5 percent of the cash stabilization account, to supplement a possible grant that would allow the purchase of a new Fire Department tanker truck. The article provides that if the grant is not approved, the money goes back into the stabilization fund.

The fiscal 2017 budget of $666,842 will fund expenses of the town, including debts and interest, and compensation of town officers.


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