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Selectmen review draft of warrant.

Byline: Elaine Thompson

SHREWSBURY - Selectmen last night reviewed the draft warrant articles, including one for a possible Proposition 2-1/2 override question and another that sets up a special fund for the proposed pay-as-you-throw trash program.

The preliminary warrant, with 33 articles, will be fine-tuned before it is finalized and signed March 17. The annual town meeting will be held at 7 p.m. May 19 at the Oak Middle School.

Articles 7 and 8 are related to the selectmen's proposal to implement a pay-as-you-throw program July 1 to help increase recycling, reduce trash disposal costs and free up revenue for other areas of the budget.

Article 7 seeks to establish an enterprise fund for revenue generated from the pay-as-you-throw program. Article 8 asks that money originally put in the Board of Health's budget to operate the trash program be transferred to the pay-as-you-throw program.

Article 9 is for a supplemental budget if there is a Proposition 2-1/2 override question on the May 6 ballot. Town Manager Daniel Morgado said if no override is on the ballot, the article will be removed from the warrant.

Some school officials have also indicated that the district may need an override. The proposed townwide fiscal 2009 budget currently has a deficit of more than $4 million.

Article 5 seeks the transfer of money to cover some deficits in the current budget. Mr. Morgado said the Fire Department's overtime account is in the red. Another likely overrun is the snow and ice removal budget, he said.

Articles 10 and 12 are related to operation of the Cemetery Department. Mr. Morgado said the department recently increased the price of cemetery lots. The articles set up a new stabilization fund to pay for the department's future capital and operating costs.

Article 14 appropriates the salary for an additional staff position in the town manager's office. This is the only new personnel position on the town side of the proposed budget.

Article 16 seeks to accept three new streets. Mr. Morgado said this is a small number compared to previous years, when more subdivisions were being built.

"The good news is that growth has slowed significantly in this community. This is reflective of that," he told selectmen.

Article 20 is for the acceptance of a state law amendment requiring a town permit for anyone digging a trench on their property. Mr. Morgado said the law defines trench as a hole at least 3 feet deep and 15 feet or less wide.

Articles 25 and 26 seek money for improvements to the town's water system.

The last three articles deal with appropriations to help offset the property tax rate.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 4, 2008
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