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A rundown on this coming week's annual town meetings in the Berkshires

Monterey TM at Pavilion

Monterey residents gather in late 2021 for a special town meeting at the Monterey Pavilion.

Capsule reports on what residents will be asked to decide in town meetings from Monday, May 2, through Saturday, May 7

Dalton

Town meeting: Monday, May 2, 7 p.m., Wahconah Regional High School. Town election: Monday, May 9, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Dalton Community House.

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

Allowing residents to create “accessory dwelling units” on their properties.

Petitioning the state Legislature to allow the town to hire police officers outside of the Civil Service system.

Strengthen the town’s wetlands protection bylaw.

Retire the Dalton Development and Industrial Commission.

Indicate support for the Fair Share Amendment on the November ballot, which would add a state tax of 4 percent on income over $1 million.

catamount mountain Town meeting location

Egremont residents will gather for their annual town meeting Tuesday in the lodge at the Catamount Mountain Resort. 

Egremont

Town meeting: Tuesday, May 3, 6 p.m., lodge at Catamount Mountain Resort. Town election: Tuesday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Town Hall.

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

Authorizing the Select Board to form a study group to consider infrastructure, governance and ownership options of the Egremont Water Department.

Appropriate $2 million to pay for water line upgrades and repairs to a portion of Main Street.

Appropriate or transfer $55,000 to purchase and install a new trash compactor.

Establish a bylaw requiring owners of property abutting public sidewalks to be responsible for clearing that area of snow and ice or face a $10 fine for every 24 hours that area has not been cleared.

Hancock

Town meeting: Monday, May 2, 2022, 7 p.m., at Hancock School. Town election: Monday, May 9, 2022 at the Hancock School, noon to 8 p.m.

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

A change in zoning requiring the following: a two-thirds vote of approval to require 15-foot setback around perimeter of each residential lot, with 20 feet setback from frontage, and to require 60 feet of road frontage for one-acre lots.

LENOXMEM2016 (copy) (copy)

Residents of Lenox will gather Thursday for annual town meeting at the Lenox Memorial Middle and High School.

Lenox

Town meeting: Thursday, May 5, 7 p.m., Duffin Theatre, Lenox Memorial Middle and High School, 197 East St. Town election: Monday, May 9, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Town Hall, 6 Walker St.

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING:

Voters will be asked to approve $31,172,000 in total town spending, up 7.3 percent from last year. The total tax levy, just under $17.1 million, is up 4.1 percent.

The estimated tax rate of $11.27 is a 4.1 percent increase. The estimated tax bill for the average single-family home is projected to be $5,275, also up 4.1 percent.

The total spending plan approved by the School Committee is $14.9 million, a 4.9 percent increase. About 82 percent is driven by personnel costs. But the Select Board and Finance Committee are not supporting approval. The 2-1 disapproval by the Select Board is unprecedented.

Monterey

Town meeting: Saturday, May 7, 9:30 a.m., Monterey Pavilion. Town election: Tuesday, May 10, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Town Hall

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

Whether the town should buy and outfit a new Ford F550 Truck for $160,000, or another cost, and sell its 2014 version.

Deciding whether the town should spend $50,000 for non-chemical control of Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake Garfield and to hire a scientist to probe the extent of the problem.

A non-binding resolution that herbicides not be used in Lake Garfield for the next five years.

A citizens’ petition is asking whether the town would consider reducing property taxes by a total of $500,000 on tax bill assessments that begin on July 1.

Mount Washington

Town meeting: Tuesday, May 3, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall. Town election: Tuesday, May 10, noon to 8 p.m., Town Hall.

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

Raise or appropriate $96,640 to cover all costs associated with the Mount Washington Broadband Network (which will be reimbursed in fees collected).

A transfer of $67,984 to the broadband stabilization fund.

Transfer $296,204 from the Highway Department Construction Stabilization Fund to pave a section of town road. Approval requires a two-thirds majority vote.

Raise or appropriate $111,000 to fund the equipment replacement stabilization fund.

New Marlborough

Town meeting: Monday, May 2, 7 p.m. Fire House, 205 Norfolk Road, Southfield Village. Town election: Monday, May 9, noon to 7 p.m. in Town Hall, Mill River Village

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

Transfer $260,000 from the Stabilization Fund to purchase a new ambulance and authorize the Town to sell or trade the 2012 Ford E450 ambulance.

Transfer $150,000 from Free Cash to purchase a new highway truck for snow and ice removal and sell or trade the 2011 Ford 550. Also transfer $150,000 to purchase a new backhoe and to sell or trade the town’s old 2002 backhoe.

Vote on raising $500,000 for the Capital Road Projects Account to repair town roads.

Approval to conduct a study of the costs of post-employment/retirement health insurance benefits for town employees.

A vote to adopt the Historic Structure Demolition Pause Bylaw, the Dark Sky Protection Bylaw (including examples of acceptable and unacceptable light fixtures), Protection Against Light Trespass and the Public Lighting bylaw.

Sheffield

Town meeting: Monday, May 2, 6 p.m. Mount Everett High School auditorium. Town election: Monday, May 9, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sheffield Senior Center

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

Whether to earmark $250,000 for repairs, improvements and equipment for the police department.

Whether to spend $200,000 for a new loader, and $30,000 for a new tractor.

Whether to spend $55,000 on repairs, improvements and equipment for town buildings including Town Hall, the library and senior center.

West Stockbridge Town Hall gym

Residents of West Stockbridge gather for a Select Board meeting at the Town Hall gym. 

West Stockbridge

Town meeting: Monday, May 2, 6 p.m., gymnasium at Town Hall. Town election: Monday, May 9, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., gymnasium at Town Hall.

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

Allowing any board or officer in charge of a department, with the Select Board’s approval, to sell any town property over $500 in value that is either obsolete or not required for further use by that department.

Borrowing $1.5 million to pay for a feasibility and schematic design study for Monument Mountain Regional High School.

The purchase of a new vehicle for the Police Department, a new truck for the Department of Public Works and new computers for the Police Department.

Reducing the number of days required for decisions to be rendered by the Zoning Board of Appeals from 120 days to 100, and deleting a section of the bylaw that any change in the town’s zoning map or table of uses set forth in the bylaw shall be made only at Town Meeting or at a Special Town Meeting.

Windsor town offices

Windsor's town offices, foreground, and Town Hall, along Route 9. 

Windsor

Town meeting: Monday, May 2, 7 p.m. Windsor Town Hall, 1927 Route 9. Town election: Monday, May 9, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Windsor Town Hall

TOP ISSUES AT TOWN MEETING: In addition to setting a new budget, residents will be asked to consider:

Hiring a town administrator, a highway department employee, a full-time librarian and a patrol officer.

Purchasing a new leaf blower, two sets of protective gear for the fire department, a replacement command vehicle for the fire and rescue team and a school bus.

Fund costs for the repair of the Windsor Historical building and expenses associated with Green Committee projects.

Managing editor for innovation

Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.

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