PEPPERELL -- Selectmen announced Monday that the town will not hold a Special Town Meeting this fall due to a lack of funds and no pressing issues to address.

According to Town Administrator John Moak, there are several requests that have been discussed, but nothing important enough to warrant a STM.

"There are some needs, such as a cruiser for the Police Department, and the library has spoken about possibly doing something about their heating system. The concern is that we have a $212,000 deficit. We're using our free cash to balance that deficit, so I'm not sure where we're getting money to do anything this fall," Moak said.

"There's really no activity that we can think of that can't wait until the spring," Moak said.

Not holding a Special Town Meeting, Moak said, could help the town save money as it struggles to reduce its structural deficit.

"This year we are very constrained with our finances," he said.

Selectman Michael Green suggested the possibility of using Town Meeting to educate residents on issues such as the town's deficit or the Charter Commission's final charter, rather than to present warrant articles.

"I just see these Town Meetings as an opportunity to educate residents, but I don't want to have one just to have one," Green said.

Selectman Stephen Themelis asked about the cost associated with running a Town Meeting, and whether it was worth spending the money if the meeting isn't necessary.


Moak said there is a cost to advertise for and run the meetings, although it would be low.

Others, including Selectman Michelle Gallagher, questioned whether such a meeting would draw the 75 residents required to hold a Town Meeting.

"I see the limited number of people in this room. I'm not thinking we can fill an auditorium," Gallagher said of the audience, which did not reach more than 15 people at any point.

Moak reminded selectmen that STM can be called at any time, except near the holidays, should the need arise.

Green asked any residents who wish to present a warrant article to be considered at a Special Town Meeting to submit it to selectmen as soon as possible.