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GROTON — The Finance Committee has taken positions on some 25 warrant articles to be presented to voters at a special town meeting scheduled for Monday, Oct. 24.

At Tuesday’s meeting FinCom voted to recommend a number of articles dealing with payment of outstanding bills from 2005.

In doing so it recommended appropriating money to fund a new contract with the Department of Public Works workers; appropriating money to cover a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase for the town’s non-union employees; and transferring $75,000 from free cash to be added to the $170,000 snow and ice removal account.

FinCom also voted to:

* Recommend a 2.5 percent cost-of-living increase for 2006 for the town clerk, highway surveyor and tree warden.

* Recommend leasing an empty lot adjacent to Town Hall for use as municipal parking at a cost of $1,600 a year.

* Recommend use of $185,000 from Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for supplementing an account held by the Conservation Commission to be used for the purchase of open land.

* Recommend use of $18,000 from CPA funds for the town clerk for use in the restoration of town record books.

* Recommend use of $81,000 from CPA funds by the Housing Authority to help it in the purchase of nine affordable living units at the Rocky Ridge subdivision.

* Recommend use of $23,190 from CPA funds by the Recreation Committee for the purchase of new docks at Sargisson Beach.

* Put off, pending more information at town meeting, a request by the Historic Commission for use of $22,500 in CPA funds to pay for the cost of conducting a survey of historical structures in Groton.

* Put off, until town meeting, a decision whether to recommend using $60,000 of CPA funds by the Greenway Committee for design work to renovate Fitch’s Bridge.

* Recommend increasing the tax exemption for the elderly, blind or service disabled veterans from $500 to $1,000.

* Recommend the extension of the town’s sewer system up Old Ayer Road.

Beyond the special town meeting, FinCom is also looking forward to the budget formulation process for fiscal 2007 and is scheduled to meet with all the town department heads on Tuesday or Wednesday, Oct. 18 or 19.

Further into the future, Chairman Steven Webber said the deadline for departments to submit their proposed operating budgets to FinCom is Sunday, Jan. 15.

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