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Whately holds special Town Meeting

— Whately residents will be asked to vote on requests to spend $78,445 on firearms for the police department, a new monitor for the ambulance and engineering costs for the Mill River Stabilization project.

A special town meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Whately Elementary School. Residents will vote on six articles.

Residents will vote on $5,000 to purchase firearms, holsters and ammunition for the police.

Currently, officers purchase their own guns and the town buys the bullets. The town has to buy a variety of ammunition for the different guns. Town Administrator Lynn Sibley said the police department wants to make the firearms standardized.

The town will also vote to establish a fine of $10 for police department bills that are over 30 days late.

Residents will vote to transfer $64,000 to fund engineering and permitting costs for the Mill River Stabilization project.

In the last two years, several storms have changed the direction of the water flow of the Mill River, forcing it into the banks near the two wells that supply the 225 homes of the Whately Water Department. If allowed to continue in this direction, the river will erode the bank and threaten the water system structures.

The cost is based on an estimate by Interfluve, an engineering firm specializing in river restoration. Residents approved $25,000 in June to pay for engineering and survey costs by Interfluve, which the town hired after firing a Northampton company, Huntley Associates, P.C., for not completing the project on time. Once the engineering is complete, the town will go to bid on the project.

The town’s single ambulance may receive a new vital signs monitor for $3,650 if residents approve. The monitor is required by Jan. 1. If the town agrees to combine ambulance and EMS services with Sunderland and Deerfield, the ambulance will be an asset Whately brings to the table.

Residents will also vote on an additional $1,700 to pay a bill from last year. The money will cover the expense for software for the ambulance.

The town will also vote on $4,095 to cover the cost of the water storage tank inspection and cleaning, which is required every few years, Sibley said.

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