Spending on the warrant for Westhampton Town Meeting Saturday

  • Westhampton Town Hall

Staff Writer
Published: 5/6/2021 8:27:50 PM

WESTHAMPTON — Residents will be called to vote on 26 articles at a Town Meeting on Saturday morning, many of which ask voters to approve appropriations on the town’s annual budget.

The proposed annual operating budget of $6.32 million represents an increase of 3.65%, or $222,264, over the current budget. The town’s Finance Committee recommended a slightly lower figure, at $6.31 million.

Four Town Meeting articles ask voters to appropriate funding for the town’s 2022 Hampshire Regional School District assessment; Westhampton Elementary School; vocational school tuition; and vocational school transportation. The town’s schools and libraries were collectively allocated a proposed budget of $3.9 million, up from $3.74 million in fiscal 2021.

Budgetary measures on the warrant are “all typical, annual rights of passage that the schools need the Town Meeting members to vote on to approve the school budgets,” said interim Superintendent Michael Sullivan.

The budget does not include substantial changes at the high school or elementary level, Sullivan said, with most fluctuations arising from “increases in salaries and a small number of additional positions,” as well as curriculum modifications.

The articles also ask to approve several allocations related to the police and fire departments, including an $8,000 allocation for the school resource officer payroll and $7,500 for police reform training. The proposed budget allocates an increase of 1%, or $772, to the Police Department, and 2.5%, or $847, to the police chief’s salary.

A final article is a resolution declaring the town a pollinator-friendly community, which would require Westhampton to increase community education on pollinators, follow best practices outlined in the state’s Pollinator Protection Plan, and add to pollinator habitats in town.

The meeting will take place on Saturday at 9 a.m., and will be held outdoors under a tent at Westhampton Elementary School.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.

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