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ASHBY — Voters will have the chance to make their voices heard at the yearly town meeting, scheduled for May 3 at the Ashby Elementary School gym, although the word “override” is being heard as well.

A Special Town Meeting will be held first, beginning at 9:30 a.m., with the Annual Town Meeting starting immediately afterward. Town bylaws require that bills owed from the previous fiscal year must be approved in a Special Town Meeting before they can be paid.

There will be eight items in this part of the meeting, according to Linda Sanders, the town administrator. Five of the items come to a total of $4,432.28. They include payments to Lunenburg for police lock-up time, library utilities, landfill monitoring services and tax collector’s billing software. Also included is a payment to Bill Arnold, owner of the Ashby Market, for providing an easement so that restoration work can begin on the Old Engine House, located beside his store.

During the special, two higher-priced bills will be presented. The town owes $30,073.70 for police wages and expenses that were not included in the 2007 budget and the snow and ice deficit is $74,500 with some for overtime by town employees.

The final item is for $26,704.26 to replenish the reserve fund. “It’s running out, and what we try to do at the special is replenish it,” said Sanders.

The regular Annual Town Meeting will begin right after the special. There will be 25 warrant articles, according to Sanders.

Several items will be presented as overrides to the budget. The library requested a part-time page and the Highway Department would like to restore the truck driver/laborer position that was cut last year. Additionally, the Board of Health asked to have stipends for the chairman and the two other board members reinstated. The Fire Department would like to hire a full-time firefighter/EMT.

An override of $23,196.20 will be requested for the North Middlesex Regional School District payment.

At the recent joint meeting between the selectmen and the Finance Committee, Sanders said the two groups agreed that the North Middlesex School district assessment would be limited to a 2 percent increase over this year’s budget. Because the district is asking for a 3 percent increase, the override is needed to cover the increase in the town’s assessment.

The groups also agreed that two of the town’s cultural activities, the summer band concerts and the Memorial Day celebrations should be funded by an override.

The new cruiser that the police need may be funded by a one-year override or from some other funding source. Sanders said she is not sure at this time what that other funding source could be.

If all of the override items are approved, Sanders said that the average cost per household might be about $155 but she added “this is just a wild guestimate, just a ballpark guess.” The assessor will draw up an impact statement and have the exact figures available before the meeting.

Several requests are being made for funds from the free cash account. The Fire Department needs matching funds for the firefighter grant they were awarded this year. The department was awarded $71,440 and must raise 5 percent or $3,700 to receive the funds.

A one-time stipend for non-salaried employees of 3 percent of their pay is requested. These workers have not received a raise in three years Sanders said.

The Planning Board has two warrant articles, both affecting the zoning bylaws.

The Public Safety Facility Feasibility Advisory group will report on their conclusions and ask for public input. They will also hold a public forum on April 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.

Sanders said that most of the remaining items are largely procedural such as accepting town reports and routine money transfers between accounts.