PEPPERELL -- The Finance Committee met Aug. 14 and discussed ways to advertise the special Town Meeting on Sept. 2 and special town election on Sept. 9, to vote a second time on an override.
Finance chair Melissa Tzanoudakis said that after an override attempt to fund the town's operational budget failed in June, she said, because of low voter turnout and voter confusion, the committee and Town Administrator John Moak have tried to advertise the meeting date as much as possible.
"We have to keep plugging the special Town Meeting date spastically to keep reminding people," said Tzanoudakis to the board.
Postcards will be mailed to residents' homes with a link to where they can find more information about the override.
On Sept. 2, the override and reduced services budget will be presented again and if approved there, on Sept. 9, residents will vote at the ballot on whether to increase the tax levy by $1,136,153.
If the override budget gets voted down, the Finance Committee will have to use the reduced services budget and make adjustments for the fiscal 2016 budget they will start discussing in the fall.
With the reduced services budget, by 2019, the projected town deficit is projected at $725,891. If the supplemental budget passes, the deficit is predicted to be $10,188 by 2019.
According to the town website, the cuts to the 2014/2015 budget have resulted in reduced hours at the Town Hall, Library and Senior Center.
Town finance officials predict that by 2019, the cuts could lead to town buildings closing down due to disrepair because the current budget does not allow for needed repairs to town buildings.
The current tax rate is $15.86 per thousand dollars of valuation. With the override, the tax rate is projected to increase to $16.79.
The Finance Committee's next meeting will be on Sept. 18.
For more information about the special Town Meeting warrant, visit www.pepperell.ma.us.
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