Williamsburg Town Meeting OKs budgets, full-time fire chief

  • Williamsburg at the Northamtpon line on Route 9. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 6/7/2023 3:08:33 PM

WILLIAMSBURG — Voters approved town and school budgets and several capital purchases along with a shift to a full-time fire chief in a three-hour Town Meeting Monday evening, Town Administrator Nick Caccamo reported.

Town and school budgets totaling $9,068,534 passed on voice votes, and five new vehicles for the highway, fire and police departments were also OK’d.

There was considerable discussion on the proposal to move to a full-time fire chief, Caccamo said. The change, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, boosted the Fire Department salary line by 50% to $56,177.

Arguments for the change included increased call volume and inspections (solar, gas station, propane tanks, fire alarm systems). A full-time chief would be able to devote time to writing grants, preparing monthly trainings, and other administrative duties.

The Select Board supported the change, Caccamo said, though a majority of the Finance Committee did not. The committee took the position that the town could not afford a full-time chief, and that the need for additional help could be addressed by increasing administrative support and contracting for fire-inspection services.

A majority of voters disagreed, however, and supported the full-time position, which will be funded at $75,000 for FY 2025.

Caccamo said Chief Jason Connell presented the idea to the Select Board, which will determine whether to move him into the position or open up a hiring process.

Personnel changes will also be coming to the Police Department, which is adding full-time positions to reduce reliance on part-time officers.

In addition, voters approved the establishment of a revolving fund for firearms training, and adopted the section of Massachusetts General Laws creating a so-called “strong” police chief.

Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Valley Advocate Newsletter
Daily Hampshire Gazette Dining & Entertainment


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy