Hoosac Valley Regional School District assessment to Cheshire could keep town budget increase down

The Hoosac Valley Regional School District assessment of $2.59 million to Cheshire could lessen the increase of the town's operating budget for fiscal 2022. Town meeting voters in June will be asked to approve a $6.67 million spending plan.

CHESHIRE — Local taxpayers could fund a nearly status-quo budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1.

The Cheshire Select Board and Finance Committee are considering a $6.67 million spending plan for fiscal 2022, an increase of a 0.5 percent, or $33,122 more than the current budget that runs out June 30, according to interim Town Administrator Mark Webber.

Webber's proposed overall operating expenditures show a nearly $60,000 increase in municipal spending that's offset, in part, by a decrease in the town's share of the cost to fund the Hoosac Valley Regional School District in fiscal 2022.

In late March, the district School Committee adopted a $20.23 million budget that includes Cheshire's assessment of $2.59 million, almost $27,000 lower than the current assessment.

A vote on the assessment and overall town operating budget will take place at the annual town meeting in June.

Meanwhile, the Select Board on Tuesday night supported putting a special article before town meeting voters, asking that they make the town clerk an appointed position, rather than an elected one. The measure also would be a ballot question at the 2022 annual town election.

If approved at both levels, the Select Board would begin appointing the town clerk in 2024.

The clerk is elected every three years; incumbent Christine Emerson is running unopposed next month for another full term.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com.