Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Pelham Town Meeting Saturday eyes $4 million operating budget

The budget plan includes a proposed elementary school budget of $1,378,494.

The annual Town Meeting begins at 9 a.m. at Pelham Elementary School. Town elections also will be held at the school that day from 9 a.m. until noon.

Installing a new energy-efficient roof at the Community Center would cost more than $300,000. To pay for it, the town would use a $138,000 state Green Communities Grant and draw $200,000 from town coffers.

It is estimated that the new roof, which would be installed in the fall, would save around $8,000 each year in heating and electricity, according to Finance Committee Chairman John Trickey.

Voters will also be asked to:

∎ Approve spending $6,300 for a set of new doors for the center’s Ramsdell Room, which would complete the replacement of the exterior entrance doors of the building.

∎ OK using $15,000 to upgrade security at the town’s elementary school, and $10,000 for curriculum materials.

∎ Adopt a measure that would fund the town’s share of Phase 1 of the capital plan for the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District using $100,000 in free cash, rather than ask residents to approve a debt exclusion override of Proposition 2½. By using free cash, Trickey said, the town would save $20,000 over 10 years in interest.

∎ Approve spending $10,000 to build a set of stairs and a break room at the highway garage, $6,000 for the replacement and upgrade of firefighter turnout gear, which Trickey said is replaced on an as-needed basis and includes helmets, coats, gloves, pants and boots.

∎ OK spending $34,000 from the capital fund to buy a police cruiser, which is due to be replaced according to a five-year replacement schedule, Trickey said.

∎ Approve Community Preservation Act spending recommended by the CPA Committee of $40,000 to refurbish the exterior of the Pelham Hill Church/Museum at 374 Amherst Road, $16,500 to pay for a professional study of the town’s low- and moderate-income housing needs and $16,000 to conduct an inventory of Pelham’s historic buildings. These projects would all be funded by the CPA fund, an account made up of the Pelham property tax surcharge and state matching funds.

Also Saturday, Town Clerk Kathy Martell will ask voters to end the town caucus by rescinding the article of the Massachusetts General Laws that puts it in place because of difficulty in reaching a quorum of 25. Without a caucus, residents looking to run for office would need to collect signatures on nomination papers.

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