West Stockbridge annual town meeting preview

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Where: Town Hall, 21 State Line Road (Route 102)

Voters will consider 37 articles and the town's $5.5 million fiscal 2020 operating budget. The warrant includes the approval of a property transfer; three free cash transfers; a measure that would allow the town to adopt the Community Preservation Act subject to a vote in May 2020; approval of a new vendor contract for recyclables with the Department of Environmental Protection, and a measure placed on the warrant by citizens petition that supports renaming the Berkshire Hills Regional School District's middle school from Monument Valley Middle School to the W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School.

Property transfer: Transfer of property off Orchard Street, commonly known as the "old hearse house." This article also was considered at last year's town meeting but failed by two votes to achieve the required two-thirds majority needed for approval. Property owners want to clear the title of this small parcel of land because it is not certain where on their property the 36-by-22-foot lot is located.

Parking lot purchase: Borrow money to purchase Card Lake Inn parking lot. The $140,000 purchase price was determined by two independent licensed commercial property firms. Requires two-thirds vote for approval. First-year debt service would be in fiscal 2021.

Excavator purchase: Appropriate $25,000 from free cash to purchase a small excavator jointly with the town of Richmond. The Highway Department historically spends $12,000 annually to rent this piece of equipment.

BUDGET

Fiscal 2020: $5.5 million

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Increase: 6.3 percent

LINE ITEMS

Public schools: $3.1 million

Police operations: $341,834

General government: $507,675

Highway operations: $492,200

— Tony Dobrowolski


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