FROM THE REGION.
Proposition 2-1/2 requests head for meeting vote
WINCHENDON - Voters at tonight's annual town meeting will have the unusual opportunity to reduce the annual town budget.
Voters are being asked to approve a budget for next fiscal year that would be almost $925,000 less than this year. The total budget being requested is $9.6 million, an 8.78 percent reduction from this year's budget of $10.5 million.
Voters will also be asked to consider borrowing $2,750,000 to build a new police station. The request would be subject to a Proposition 2-1/2 override. Also subject to an override would be $382,000 for the purchase of a street sweeper, generators for Toy Town Elementary School, Town Hall and the Old Murdock Senior Center building, and repairs to the roof of the town fire station.
Another Proposition 2-1/2 request would be $741,000 to buy a Fire Department tanker truck, replace the roof of the town garage and buy a 10-wheel dump truck, a sidewalk tractor and a four-wheel-drive pickup truck for the Fire Department.
The town is also seeking to buy a conservation restriction on 364 acres known as the Marchmont Estate for $633,750 - all of which is reimbursable through grants from the state.
The meeting will be held , at 7 p.m. in Murdock Middle/High School.
Board member questions legality of school cut
RUTLAND - A Wachusett Regional School District member is questioning the legality of a town meeting vote that cut the town's assessment for the schools.
"The Board of Selectmen do not have the powers of the school committee (to change the budget figure)," said Julianne Kelley, a Rutland representative to the school committee. "I'm appalled and horrified for my town. It was very unsettling to me."
She said she planned to ask the school committee to review whether the vote was legal.
In a steamy meeting at Glenwood School Saturday night, town meeting voters, 259-100, refused to vote on the additional assessment number submitted by the school district and approved a lower number instead.
That measure was a virtual defeat of the school budget.
Town officials put forward a number for that portion of the school budget that they said the town could afford, $1,317,400, but an amendment from the floor put before voters the opportunity to vote on the number submitted by the school district for that category, $1,412.834.
Voters defeated that by more than 2 to 1 using paper ballots, and in an additional secret ballot, approved the lower number.
School committee member Robert Remillard said he was disappointed with the selectmen for trying to bring forward the lower number.
Officials defended the proposed lower figure, saying the number was one the town and district could afford without layoffs after a recent state Senate vote that will contribute an additional $400,000 to the district.
Mr. Remillard and Ms. Kelley left after the defeat of the amendment.
The total of Rutland's school budget assessment as amended when the school committee recalculated the whole budget in an emergency meeting Thursday, including a net minimum contribution mandated by the state, transportation, debt service and remediation of an oil spill, comes to $8,899,117.
A super majority of four of the five towns in the district is necessary to approve the school budget; Sterling and Princeton have already approved it at their annual town meetings. Paxton and Holden will vote today. If both Paxton and Holden approve the school committee's number, Rutland will have to pay the higher number.
Rutland voters considered a Proposition 2-1/2 override that would have covered the school budget request and more for the municipal budget but rejected it at the ballot box May 14.
Voters Saturday also approved a measure that would limit adult entertainment to a small commercial district near the Rutland-Holden town line.
Sewer work to cause traffic disruption
WOODSTOCK - A sewer installation project on Route 169 between Frog Pond Road and Academy Road is scheduled for today through Aug. 29, the Connecticut Department of Transportation said in a statement.
The work schedule will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Traffic control personnel will direct one lane of alternating traffic while work is being performed.
CUTLINE: BREAK IN THE ACTION: Todd Matthews and Sandrine Kouyesseia, both of Worcester, ham it up as they "break the tape" at the finish line of the 27th annual Walk for the Homeless yesterday in Institute Park in Worcester. For slideshow, see telegram.com.
PHOTOG: T&G Staff/BETTY JENEWIN