TOWNSEND — Town administrator Gregory Barnes presented the town meeting articles for discussion by the Board of Selectmen and the Finance Committee at Tuesday night’s meeting.
”These are still subject to some change,” Barnes said before discussions began.
A total of 33 articles currently appear on the warrant, with most of the financial transfers receiving a favorable nod from both boards.
One article not receiving support from the FinCom was submitted by the assessors’ office, asking for $2,491 be transferred to their salary account for funding a raise for the principal assessor after successful completion of classes required to achieve the Massachusetts Accredited Assessor designation.
”We are not supporting this article,” Finance Committee Chairman Donald Klein said. “This should be covered under the cost of living adjustment increase for all non-union employees,” .
Another article not receiving FinCom support was submitted by the Conservation Commission, asking for $4,000 to supplement the Conservation Land Fund to support a Forest Stewardship Plan for Old Meetinghouse Road. Klein said funds are just too short to fund that request at this time.
The FinCom did look favorably on a request to transfer $6,000 pay for the assessors’ Periodic Inspection and Property Verification Program, as mandate by the Department of Revenue.
”This gives the assessors the money needed to go out and hopefully bring in more revenue,” Klein said.
The selectmen and FinCom did vote to support an article that would transfer $5,000 for mandatory physicals for ten new call firefighters for the town. They also gave the nod to transfer $14,000 into the fiscal year 2007 Management Information Systems computer expense account.
Barnes said he did not wish to be “the purveyor of doom,” but there will likely be very little left in free cash for the fall town meeting, and the outlook for future budgeting years does not look good.
”Our free cash account will go down significantly for fiscal 2008, and we may not have funds left over for the structural gap we will be facing,” Barnes warned, citing a “true deficit” in years to come.
Barnes said there are quite a few “housekeeping” articles on the warrant, as well as a few land use questions.
The warrant is subject to final review and approval by the selectmen before it is posted on Tuesday, April 25.