Town Meeting funds repairs, contracts

Town Meeting, which began on May 3, voted on May 30 to fund repairs and upgrades to town buildings and settled contracts with several town unions. Members voted to transfer $330,000 from free cash and borrow $420,000 to replace the 40-year-old windows at the Hansen Elementary School, as recommended by the Finance Committee. The project is contingent on the town obtaining a $424,500 grant for “green repairs” from the Massachusetts School Building Authority. Town Meeting also approved funding for three-year contracts for unionized police, fire, public works, and Town Hall workers, as well as professional staff and library staff. The contracts are retroactive to fiscal 2011 and run through fiscal 2013, and call for raises of 1 percent for the first and second years and 2 percent for the third year. Voters transferred $204,438 from free cash to replace three police cruisers and two police sports utility vehicles; approved borrowing up to $350,000 for repairs to Town Hall, the historical society and senior center; and borrowing up to $250,000 for a new ambulance. A transfer from free cash will also allow the town to purchase $130,000 in radio equipment for emergencies, and members also approved spending $56,000 to provide each police officer with a bulletproof vest. Town Meeting continues Monday night with its ninth session.