Monday, May 12
TYRINGHAM — A $150,000 heavy-duty dump truck and snow plowing vehicle is on the annual town meeting warrant for the second straight year.

Tyringham voters tomorrow night at Town Hall will be asked to approve Article 12 and then vote at the town election May 19 on a debt exclusion from Proposition 2 1/2 to pay for the truck.

The highly controversial purchase was defeated twice in 2007.

The annual town meeting voted against the highway truck, and later that summer, a special town meeting approved the request, but the ballot question failed.

Selectman Alan Wilcox said town officials are proposing the 10-wheel truck replace a 1985 model that is too small, a six-wheeler, and not as efficient.

"We're looking to save on fuel costs by having a much larger truck that can pick up more loads and the Highway Department relying less on private contractors to do hauling for the town," said Wilcox. "In addition, we can put a wing-plow on the truck during the winter and be more efficient at removing snow from our roads."

Wilcox said a new truck means town officials are asking for $50,000 for maintenance, diesel and gas to run the highway vehicles for the new fiscal year starting July 1, compared to the $60,000 budgeted for the current fiscal year which ends June 30.

Town meeting voters will also act on a proposed $797,084 operation budget, a 5.9 percent increase compared to the current spending plan.

The 23-article warrant also has nearly $592,000 in special money articles, which includes the heavy-duty truck.

The largest item is an article requesting $334,008 to tuition Tyringham students into the Lee Public Schools, which is nearly a $7,100 increase. Tyringham and Lee together belong to the Union 29 school district.

Other key articles include:

  • The town using $52,500 from the free cash account to lessen the impact of the budget increases on the tax rate.

  • $18,000 toward paying principal and interest on town debt.

  • $7,500 would buy equipment and provide training for the volunteer fire company.