Stockbridge annual town meeting preview
When: 6:30 p.m. Monday
Where: Stockbridge Town Offices gymnasium, 50 Main St.
Municipal finances are described by town leaders as solid based on a total fiscal 2020 spending increase of less than 1 percent. A key agenda item is a proposed $132,000 special article to approve engineering fees for downtown traffic safety improvements to be funded by MassDOT, including a possible roundabout for the Red Lion Inn intersection. The Finance Committee deadlocked, 3-3, on whether to support the request; the Select Board voted in favor, 2-1. A lively, perhaps heated debate, is likely.
Citizen petition: A warrant article would prohibit a Select Board member from holding any other paid employment for an elected position in a town department while serving on the board, or for any paid appointed position for one year after leaving the board. If approved, it would not require a current Select Board member to resign from any other position held.
Lake weed control: With proposed herbicide treatment of Stockbridge Bowl ruled out, at least for this summer, the Select Board and Finance Committee have voted unanimously to support a $55,000 purchase of a mobile conveyor to transport harvested weeds to a private property for composting. The town will have one harvester operational on the state-owned lake this summer.
School renaming: A citizen petition asks voters whether to support renaming Monument Valley Regional Middle School to the W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School in honor of the Great Barrington civil rights leader. Great Barrington and West Stockbridge, the two other member towns of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District, have approved the renaming. The advisory votes will be considered by the regional district's School Committee, which has the final say.
Fiscal 2020: $12,243,298
Increase: 0.8 percent
$2,875,750 assessment to the Berkshire Hills Regional School District
$325,370 to fund the Community Preservation Act
$300,000 in additional funding for highway garage
$132,000 for engineering for downtown traffic safety
— Clarence Fanto
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