Egremont defeats effort to cut police budget

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EGREMONT — Police funding and an increased insurance cost were sticking points Tuesday at Egremont's annual town meeting.

After opening the meeting and hearing from Selectboard Chairman George McGurn, Moderator Stephen Cohen read through each line item for the town's budget for the fiscal year that begins Wednesday.

Egremont resident Jacob Borden read a statement calling on the town to defund the police. Proposed funding for police salaries in Egremont increased roughly $24,000. After the town discussed a motion to amend the budget and cut police funding, a majority voted against making any change.

Another increase in the Egremont budget involves the cost of insurance. The original warrant had earmarked $317,350 for health and dental coverage for retirees. At the meeting, Laura Allen of the Finance Committee made a motion to revise that number down to $301,550. After discussion, the town voted to amend the budget.

Two expenditures from the town's free cash were rejected by a majority of voters: a $70,000 withdrawal to blacktop a portion of the Town Hall driveway and parking lot, and a $15,000 transfer to a fund for future retiree benefits other than pension.

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The town also voted down a $4,000 appropriation to update a portion of Egremont's historic listings and a $1,000 appropriation to restore books and ledgers.

An amendment was suggested by Egremont resident Charles Proctor to provide an additional $50,000 for repairing the town's roads. This amendment to Article 12 passed, bringing the total road work funding for FY21 to $150,000.

All other articles passed before the meeting ended at 8:16 p.m.

Christopher Parker can be reached via email at cparker@berkshireeagle.com or via Twitter @cparkerreports.

This story has been modified to correct the first name of Jacob Borden.


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