The Recorder – Leverett budget, road renaming, library sale for town meeting votes

LEVERETT — Selling an old library building to a nonprofit, renaming the transfer station entrance road to honor a former employee who’s been missing for more than a year, and showing support for the amendment on the equitable sharing are actions to be considered at the annual municipal meeting on Saturday.

Meeting to consider a 29-item mandate, including elections for city officials and a $6.83 million fiscal year 2023 budget for city and school operations, begins at 9 a.m. morning at Leverett Elementary School.

The budget is $246,199 or 3.7% higher than this year’s $6.59 million spending plan and, if passed, would add approximately 77 cents per $1,000 of assessment to utility bills. property tax. City employees would benefit from a 3% cost-of-living adjustment, with most departments meeting the 3% guidelines issued by city officials.

But outgoing Selectboard member Julie Shively writes in the ballot report that rising costs of goods and services are driving up some budgets. Specifically, she cites both bulky waste, which rose $8,280 or 59% to $22,287; and garbage transportation costs, which increased by $5,109 or 37% to $18,811.

The largest portion of the budget, accounting for 63% of spending, is for public schools, with $2.77 million for elementary schools and $1.53 million for Amherst Regional Schools Assessment and Debt -Pelham. Overall school expenses increase by 1.8% or $77,094, from $4.22 million to $4.29 million. Leverett will also be the first of the four towns that make up the regional district to adopt a new assessment formula.

Leverett’s budget includes $33,157 to provide policing services to Wendell. This is reimbursed by the neighboring municipality.

Two items relate to the future of the former Bradford M. Field Memorial Library at 1 Shutesbury Road, built in 1916 and used for library services until the Leverett Library opened in 2003. Now housing the Leverett Family Museum, $30,000 in Community Preservation Act money would pay for a building condition assessment and a report and plan of historic structures.

The second article would authorize the Selectboard to sell the building later this year to a nonprofit educational and historical organization, which will use the site to store artifacts and records of the city’s history.

Meanwhile, a petition article seeks to honor Richard Drury, who has been absent from his Dudleyville Road home since December 2020, by naming the entrance road to Drury Lane transfer station. Drury ran the transfer station for several years and this recognition would be for “the memory of his creative spirit, his commitment to the community and his usefulness to others”.

The Fair Share Amendment, a proposal to amend the state Constitution, seeks to impose a 4% levy on the portion of personal income that exceeds $1 million and direct the revenue to public education projects and transportation throughout the state. The article of the mandate in support of the so-called “millionaires’ tax,” which appears on the November state election ballot, states that “these investments are needed more than ever to propel our economy forward.” a fair and lasting recovery,” and cites structural shortcomings and overdue bridge repairs in Leverett.

Vehicle purchases, using money from the stabilization account, will include a $55,000 gas-electric hybrid police cruiser and $77,000 for a mid-size dump truck.

The free money will be used for other expenses, with $66,000 to match a municipal vulnerability preparedness grant to repair a culvert on Shutesbury Road at Number Six and Old Mountain roads. Other free funds would be used to purchase tax collection software, do preventative work on trees along the roads, and repair a 2013 dump truck and concrete floor drains in vehicle bays. the Firestation.

As is customary, and a process that remains unique to Leverett, municipal elections will be held from the floor of the municipal assembly, with registered voters to be nominated and then elected by those present at the session. If there are more candidates for a panel than positions available, ballots will be distributed to residents present and then counted.

No disputed elections are yet known, according to the information contained in the electoral bulletin. Announced candidates include newcomer Patricia Duffy for Selectboard, who is seeking the three-year post held by Shively; newcomer Jya Plavin for one of two three-year positions on the school committee; incumbent Jean Bergstrom for a five-year term on the Planning Council; newcomer Judith Davidov for one of two three-year positions as library trustees; incumbent Phil Carter for one of two three-year terms on the Finance Committee; incumbent Tom Masterton for a three-year constable post; and incumbents Cat Ford and Samuel Black for positions on the Board of Reviewers, with one- and three-year terms available. No candidate has been announced for a three-year term on the Board of Health.

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