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SHIRLEY — The warrant for the annual town meeting in May won’t be mailed out this year, and the number of annual town reports the town has printed will be cut from 500 to 200, with a limited distribution list.

The town report will be available in time for annual town meeting in May, in accordance with the law, but they won’t be passed out, selectmen agreed at the March 23 meeting.

Instead, the working plan so far is that residents can pick up an annual town report at the town clerk’s office or other municipal locations while supplies last.

Additional copies can be made “for a charge,” town administrator Kyle Keady said.

At a previous Finance Committee meeting, that board voted to print this year’s ATM warrants in-house and not to mail out the warrants, zeroing out a $1,500 budget line item.

The warrants will be available at municipal locations and on the town Web site, assistant town administrator Kathleen Rocco said.

As for the annual town report, she said the initial idea was to print those in-house as well, using a binder at the DPW and shaving $2,000 from the town budget.

Now, only about half the number of town reports that selectmen agreed to have printed will be available to residents, maybe 100. Several copies must be archived, kept in various town offices and sent to insurers, she explained. The report will be posted on the town Web site.

Resident Jim Thibeault suggested selling ads to cover printing costs, but Keady said that when he’d suggested that idea, it was rejected.

In that case, “you could charge $5 a copy,” Thibeault offered. No decision was made.

Chairman Enrico Cappucci said he’s still conflicted about not mailing the town meeting warrant. “We’ll hear some howls,” he predicted, and wondered if the savings was worth it.

Maybe a better approach would be to do the mailing as usual this year but scratch that line item in the FY2010 budget, Cappucci said.

On Tuesday morning, Rocco said she knew of no change in plans.

Absent an amended plan, the warrant won’t be mailed out this year. And the 2008 annual town report will be ready in time for town meeting but won’t be handed out.