Chesterfield TM funds money for new veteran’s park, dump truck, police handguns

By FRAN RYAN

For the Gazette

Published: 05-08-2017 11:22 PM

CHESTERFIELD — After four years of planning, work on a new Veterans Park is expected to begin this summer after Town Meeting’s decision Monday night to approve $34,430 toward its construction next to Town Hall.

The 67 of the town’s 901 voters who attended Town Meeting also OK’d $85,000 to buy a small dump truck and $5,610 for 10 new handguns for the Police Department as part of the roughly $3.5 million fiscal 2018 budget, which begins July 1.

The new 7,000-square-foot Veterans Park will feature a 10-foot-wide patio, walkways with stone seating, walls and wooden benches and Goshen stone sidewalks. The handicapped-accessible park will also include plantings with low maintenance, drought, insect and disease resistant and pollinator friendly.

In a presentation, Dee Cinner of the Chesterfield Veterans Park Committee noted that the initial cost of the project was $68,000 before the State Historical Records Advisory Board awarded a $10,000 grant and substantial donations of materials and labor were made.

Cinner said that Nick Dines, an independent design professional and professor emeritus of landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts, volunteered to design the park and that the committee has been working on this since 2013.

The project is expected to begin shortly after July 4.

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Residents also gave the thumbs-up to borrowing $85,000, over a period of five years or less, for the purchase of a new Ford F550 truck for the Highway Department. This truck will replace the department’s existing 2012 Ford F550.

According to Highway Department Superintendent Matt Smith, these vehicles are replaced every five years as a matter of course due to deterioration from road salt.

“We have to make sure that they remain reliable,” Smith said.

By a majority vote, residents approved spending $5,610 from this year’s fiscal 2017 budget for 10 handguns for the Police Department.

“We currently have older mix-and-matched handguns of different calibers and different sizes,” Police Chief Edward Murray said. “These will be traded in when the new guns are purchased.”

Though there are only eight officers in the department, Murray said the two additional handguns are a necessity to have to replace any weapon that may break or be taken by the state forensic unit in the case of a police shooting.

Meanwhile, voters unanimously approved the fiscal 2018 budget of $3,538,547. Of that total, $1,892,251 is earmarked for education, including $742,303 for the Chesterfield/Goshen Regional School District, $738,055 for the Hampshire Regional School District, and $323,318 for vocational education.

Residents also unanimously approved raising and appropriating $30,000 for the Future Land Acquisition Stabilization Fund, $80,000 for the Capital Projects Stabilization Fund, and $32,000 for the School Building Maintenance Stabilization Fund.

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