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Shutesbury Town Meeting to take up financial matters Saturday

— Town residents Saturday will be asked to approve the proposed $5,778,104 operating budget for next year when the annual Town Meeting convenes at 9 a.m. Saturday at Shutesbury Elementary School.

That amount is $27,653 higher, or a 0.48 percent increase over the current year’s budget of $5,750,451.

This year’s Town Meeting agenda is largely budget-centered, said Town Administrator Becky Torres, with 16 articles on the warrant, most dealing with how the town will spend its money for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The largest chunk of Shutesbury’s budget generally goes to the school system. The total school budget proposed for next year is $3,381,950, up 3.44 percent from the current year’s budget, which is $3,269,605. School spending is divvied up like so: $1,792,333 is for the Shutesbury Elementary School and $1,489,602 is for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools, which is where most Shutesbury students attend middle and high school.

The total budget proposed for police, fire and emergency management departments, tree warden, building inspector, dog officer, constable and ambulance service is $325,643, down 4.11 percent from this year’s budget of $339,611. Of that, the Police Department budget is in line for $183,219, up 0.18 percent from $182,894 this year, while the Fire Department’s proposed budget is $99,763, up 0.1 percent from $98,804 this year.

Town elections will also take place Saturday simultaneously with the Town Meeting. Voters may cast ballots from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school. Candidates include: J. April Stein for a three-year term on the Select Board; Catherine Hilton for a three-year term on the Board of Health; Norene Pease for a one-year term on the Board of Health; Linda C. Feduik-Rotondi and Jeffrey R. Lacy, both for three-year terms on the Planning Board; Sean Timothy Woodard-McNiff for a three-year term on the School Committee; Marilyn E. Tibbetts for a three-year term on both the Cemetery Commission and as town constable; Michele Regan-Ladd and Gail R. Fleischaker, both for three-year terms as library trustees; and Penelope G. Kim for a three-year term as town moderator.

There are no contested races.

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