Lanesoborough town meeting approves budget, Laston Park upgrades

Lanesborough annual town meeting voters Tuesday approved spending money on a new basketball court and gazebo/grandstand at Bill Laston Memorial Park. Voters approved an overall budget of $10.1 million for fiscal 2022.

LANESBOROUGH — The town is getting a new ambulance, and an upgrade to Bill Laston Memorial Park.

At annual town meeting Tuesday night, residents voted to borrow $241,000 toward the purchase of the first-responder vehicle, the loan repaid with user fees collected by the ambulance service. An additional $49,000 in user fees will be applied toward the estimated $250,000 expenditure.

The article passed by an overwhelming majority of 62-4.

Meanwhile, voters added $25,000 to the fiscal 2022 operating budget’s recreational account for a new basketball court at Laston Park, Lanesborough’s main recreational area. In addition, voters approved a special money article using $50,000 in surplus town money to construct a gazebo/grandstand and seating at the park.

The overall spending plan for fiscal 2022 passed at $10.1 million, more than half of that for public education. The single-biggest line item is the town’s assessment to the Mount Greylock Regional School District. The $5.86 million cost to taxpayers starting July 1 is up 1.62 percent, compared with fiscal 2021, and accounts for 58 percent of the operating budget.

All money articles on the agenda passed, including:

• $242,109 to fund the Baker Hill Road District;

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• $108,000 toward funding a new police station;

• $50,000 for the cost to conduct property revaluations in fiscal 2023

Voters also adopted updates for numbering general and zoning bylaws; Finance Committee language regarding the preparation of new budgets; as well as language regarding stormwater management.

The lone article to be tabled, by a vote of 54-6, was an anti-gun control citizens petition.

Donald Dermyer proposed that Lanesborough prevent the federal government from enforcing in town any federal law or regulation that would limit a person’s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Dermyer and the 13 other people who signed the petition want no tax or fee, and no tracking of firearms and those who own firearms “that could have a chilling affect on the purchase or ownership of those items by law-abiding citizens.”

The petitioners want to grant local police the authority to arrest federal officials who try to violate the so-called Second Amendment Preservation Act in Lanesborough.

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