Date Posted: 05-15-2012
Warrant Article explanation
Below are the articles to be discussed at the May 21, 2012 Semi-Annual Town Meeting. Please feel free to print this out and bring it with you for the night of Town Meeting. Also please arrive at Town Meeting 15 minutes early so we can begin Town Meeting on time.
ARTICLE 1 - AUTHORIZATION TO HEAR THE REPORTS OF OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES OF THE TOWN
This article allows for any committees or boards of the Town to issue reports at the recognition of the Town Moderator.
ARTICLE 2 - AUTHORIZATION TO BORROW IN ANTICIPATION OF REVENUE AND TO ENTER INTO A COMPENSATING BALANCE AGREEMENT WITH A BANK
This is an annual article allowing the Town to borrow in anticipation of revenues.
ARTICLE 3 - AUTHORIZATION TO ESTABLISH REVOLVING FUNDS
Historically, the revolving fund articles were always listed as separate articles. This year I proposed voting the revolving funds as one article. This needs to be approved annually to operate our revolving funds. This allows a community to raise~revenues~from a specific service and use those revenues without~appropriation~to support the service. For departmental revolving funds, MGL~Ch. 44 §53E½~stipulates that each fund must be re-authorized each year at annual town meeting, and that a limit on the total amount that may be spent from each fund must be established at that time. The aggregate of all revolving funds may not exceed ten percent of the amount raised by taxation by the city or town in the most recent fiscal year, and no more than one percent of the amount raised by
taxation may be administered by a single fund. Wages or salaries for full-time employees may be paid from the revolving fund only if the fund is also charged for all associated fringe benefits.
ARTICLE 4 – AUTHORIZATION TO EXPEND FUNDS IN ANTICIPATION OF REIMBURSEMENT OF STATE HIGHWAY ASSISTANCE AID
This is an annual article allowing the Town to borrow in anticipation of revenues from the state for road repair assistance.
ARTICLE 5 – AUTHORIZATION TO AMEND THE PERSONNEL
BYLAW AND TO REVIEW THE CLASSIFICATION AND COMPENSATION
PLAN SO AS TO PROVIDE EMPLOYEES A COST –OF-LIVING PAY
This article changes the salary lines in the Town’s Personnel Bylaws to reflect a 2% increase agreed to by the Selectmen in exchange for changing health insurance contribution rates.
ARTICLE 6 – AUTHORIZATION TO SET THE SALARY OF ELECTED OFFICIALS
This is an annual article of the Town. It should be noted that most elected officials in Town have agreed to reduce their salary to $1.00 three years ago and have agreed to continue that this year. They all should be recognized for that.
ARTICLE 7 - AUTHORIZATION TO TRANSFER UNEXPENDED FUNDS FROM
FISCAL YEAR 2011 SEWER APPROPRIATIONS
This is an article needed to fix a $60 problem in the sewer budget. When last year’s sewer debt costs were budgeted, it was short $60. This will be resolved with a slight amendment of the sewer budget.
ARTICLE 8 - AUTHORIZATION TO TRANSFER UNEXPENDED FUNDS FROM
FISCAL YEAR 2011 APPROPRIATIONS AND OTHER NECESSARY
TRANSFERS TO THE FISCAL YEAR 2011 APPROPRIATIONS
This is an article produced every year to try to correct budget problems in the current fiscal year. At Town Meeting, the list of budget fixes will be presented for ratification.
ARTICLE 9– AUTHORIZATION TO PAY FUNDS FROM A PREVIOUS FISCAL YEAR
This is an article to cover any unpaid bills from a previous fiscal year. Apparently in 2007-2008, the Town of West Boylston was fined by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for failing to file a required form with them. The Town has recently been made aware of this fine and we are required to pay this fine.
ARTICLE 10 – VOTE TO REAUTHORIZE APPROPRIATIONS
Last year, the Town voted four expenditures with ‘sunset clauses’ which put a deadline in which the expenditures needed to be completed. This was done to remove a step later on by having to vote to close out unexpended warrant articles at future Town Meetings. However some of the projects previously approved required more time to properly bid under the procurement laws and some projects could only be completed during certain seasons of the year. The four projects to be reauthorized are the roof repair for Goodale Summer House, the roof repair for the Public Safety Building, the replacement of an ambulance, and replacement of public safety communications equipment.
ARTICLE 11 - FISCAL YEAR 2012 SEWER BUDGET APPROPRIATION ARTICLE
This is the proposed sewer budget for the Town of West Boylston.
ARTICLE 12 - FISCAL YEAR 2012 OMNIBUS BUDGET APPROPRIATION ARTICLE
This is the proposed budget for the Town of West Boylston. The voted budget will be less than the budget prepared for the Town Meeting Warrant. At Town Meeting copies of the new budget will be on the information table written on ORANGE paper. The amount to be appropriated is $$20,613,682
ARTICLE 13 - AUTHORIZATION TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FROM THE COMMUNITY PRESERVATION REVENUES
This article allows the Town to dedicate the amounts for the CPA funds for the next year. This will be presented by the Community Preservation Committee.
ARTICLE 14 – VOTE TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR COMMUNITY PRESERVATION PROJECTS – Affordable Housing
This article seeks to expend $11,000 of Community Preservation Funds reserved for Affordable Housing to engage a community housing specialist to assist West Boylston in dealing with the administration of affordable housing and to create a conceptual plan.
ARTICLE 15 – VOTE TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR COMMUNITY PRESERVATION PROJECTS – Historical Preservation
This article seeks to expend $79,950 of Community Preservation Funds to preserve and protect the historic stained glass windows at the Masonic Lodge.
ARTICLE 16 - AUTHORIZATION TO EXPEND FUNDS FROM THE CAPITAL INVESTMENT FUND TO FUND CAPITAL EQUIPMENT
This article will be presented by the Town Administrator and the Capital Investment Board as it relates to the Capital Plan for West Boylston.
ARTICLE 17 – BORROWING AUTHORIZATION TO CONSTRCT NEW SUBSTATION
This article would authorize the Municipal Light Plant to borrow the sum of money necessary to construct a new substation behind the old Temple Street landfill. The Municipal Light Plant will speak to this article on Town Meeting floor and should not have an adverse affect on the electric rates in Town.
ARTICLE 18 - AUTHORIZATION TO APPROPRIATE AMBULANCE RECEIPTS RESERVED FOR APPROPRIATION FOR E.M.S ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES
The amount is slated to be $34,250 and does not come from the operating budget but rather the Ambulance Receipts. These expenses are ambulance billing, paramedic on-call stipends, and Hospital Medical Direction services.
ARTICLE 19– APPROPRIATION TO FUND AN ELDERLY
COMMUNITY SERVICES PROGRAM
This is an annual authorization to fund the senior community services program and request of the COA.
ARTICLE 20 - AUTHORIZATION TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR SINGLE EXPENDITURES
This article will be passed over since most of these planned expenditures will be dealt with in Article 8 instead.
ARTICLE 21 – AUTHORIZATION TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR REAL ESTATE CYCLICAL REINSPECTIONS
Every few years the Board of Assessors is required to reinspect properties to ensure the values assessed are fair and equitable. This article uses Assessor overlay surplus funds to conduct this analysis.
ARTICLE 22 – AUTHORIZATION TO NAME BASKETBALL COURTS LOCATED AT GOODALE PARK
This article, if approved, would change the name of the new basketball courts located at Goodale Park as the Robert J. Halloran Basketball Courts. It was recommended by the naming Committee and the Board of Selectmen.
ARTICLE 23 – VOTE TO CONSIDER ADOPTING MASS GENERAL LAW CHAPTER 59, SECTION 5, CLAUSE 54
Articles 23 is sponsored by the Board of Assessors and establishes a minimum value of personal property to be taxed at $1,000. There are a few property owners in town with personal property values of less than $1,000 which costs the Town more money to send quarterly bills than the Town actually collects in taxes. This will eliminate that problem.
ARTICLE 24 –CONSIDER VOTING TO REDUCE THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
The Conservation Commission currently has several vacancies and has difficulty establishing a quorum for their meetings. This reduction of membership makes it easier to conduct their business.
ARTICLE 25 – VOTE TO CONSIDER ADOPTING MASS GENERAL LAW CHAPTER 138, SECTION 33 B
This article will allow for the service of alcohol at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays. Currently the Town follows the requirement that service of alcohol cannot occur before noon on Sundays. Adoption of this law changes that time.
ARTICLE 26 – AUTHORIZATION TO TRANSFER FUNDS
This article will transfer $7,000 from the FY12 unemployment line item to the Unemployment Trust Fund used to deal with emergency levels of unemployment costs.
ARTICLE 27 – AUTHORIZATION TO TRANSFER FUNDS
This article will transfer about $19,000 from the Insurance Reimbursement Line Item to the FINCOM reserve fund. Due to a quirk in Mass General Law, communities cannot use more than $20,000 from insurance reimbursements. As a result, the FINCOM reserve fund was depleted this year to replace a vehicle. This vote would replenish the FINCOM reserve fund with monies the town received from a recent insurance reimbursement.
ARTICLE 28 – AUTHORIZATION TO RAISE AND APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE STABILZATION FUND
This annual article allows for adding money into the stabilization fund if we have money available by the end of Town Meeting.
ARTICLE 29 – AUTHORIZATION TO RAISE AND APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE CAPITAL INVESTMENT FUND
This annual article allows for adding money into the capital fund if we have money available by the end of Town Meeting.