Contested races in voters' hands in Egremont

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EGREMONT — Races for seats on the Select Board and Planning Board, three questions and seven unopposed candidates will appear on this year's annual town election ballot.

Polls will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Fire Station, 175 Egremont Plain Road.

Select Board Chairman Bruce Turner announced in the spring that he would not seek re-election after serving on the board for more than 20 years. Running for the open, three-year position are Carla Turner, owner of Turner Farms Maple Syrup in Great Barrington, and Planning Board Chairwoman Lucinda Fenn-Vermeulen.

Three candidates — Nicholas Kenne, Rose Levine and Thomas Libetti — are vying for a five-year position on the Planning Board that Fenn-Vermeulen will vacate.

The following candidates are running unopposed to retain their seats: assessor (three years), Susan Turner; constable (three years), James Olmsted; library trustee (three years), Francine Groener; moderator (one year), Stephen Cohen; town clerk (one year), Juliette Haas; and tree warden (one year), James Olmsted.

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One new candidate, Stephen Agar, is running unopposed for a three-year post on the Cemetery Commission.

A ballot question asking voters to ban all recreational marijuana, except retailers, was rendered moot by this week's vote to reject the measure.

Residents also will be being asked to approve debt exclusions — temporary increases in the property tax — to pay back loans on capital projects. Egremont is seeking debt exclusions for its contribution to Mount Washington Road repairs, as well as its share of a new roof and heating system for the Southern Berkshire Regional School District's main campus in Sheffield. If one or both are approved, the debt exclusions would temporarily raise taxes to pay for the projects. Once the projects are paid for, the tax increase goes away.

Voters already approved paying for the two projects in prior town meetings. The questions offer a way for Egremont to pay the bills without having to cut back on town services, members of the Select Board said.

Kristin Palpini can be reached at kpalpini@berkshireeagle.com,


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