Washington

The Washington annual town meeting will be held today at 7 p.m.

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Highway Garage, 443 South Washington State Road/Route 8

In a budget that projects declining local aid from the state, Washington plans to convene in-person for annual town meeting at the Highway Garage, and masks are a must. Town leaders predict the tax rate could increase approximately 2 percent.

Capital projects: The town is proposing to use free cash to pay for three capital projects: Repairing the Highway Department’s front-end loader, removing ash trees the town says pose a potential liability along roads, including Blotz Road, and replacing the aging cedar-shingle roof on the Town Park gazebo.

State aid woes: The town is predicting that local aid from the state will fall by more than 3 percent, which has the town’s Finance Committee discussing whether a debt override might be necessary next year. A decline in state aid would shift more of the budgetary burden to local taxpayers.

School spending: The town’s assessment for the Central Berkshire Regional School District is rising just over 3 percent compared to last year. However, there are no vocational students enrolling this year, and town leaders say that will produce savings on tuition and transportation costs.

— Amanda Burke, The Berkshire Eagle

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com, on Twitter @amandaburkec and 413-496-6296.

Amanda Burke covers Pittsfield City Hall for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise. Find her on Twitter at @amandaburkec.