Posted: 06/19/2022 16:03:27
Modified: 06/19/2022 16:01:02
LEYDEN — Voters will be asked to consider an operating budget of nearly $1.9 million for fiscal year 2023 and make the city clerk an appointed position at Tuesday’s annual and special city meetings.
Both meetings will take place outside Leyden Town Hall, 16 West Leyden Road, with the special town meeting starting at 6pm and the annual town meeting following immediately after. Residents are encouraged to bring folding chairs, hats, insect repellent and masks if they wish.
The special municipal assembly will ask voters to make several free money transfers. Item 1 involves the transfer of $45,000 of free money for fire and emergency medical equipment.
Selection committee chairman Bill Glabach said the money will go towards upgrading and replacing equipment.
“Some equipment is getting obsolete,” Glabach said. “I know they had self-contained breathing apparatus that needs renewing and there may be other things that need updating.”
Items 2 and 3 require residents to allocate $45,000 of available money to the fire department stabilization account and $50,000 of available money to the road service stabilization account. And Article 5 would approve the transfer of $86,753 of available cash to the general stabilization fund.
Glabach noted that the city is adding a bit more to the fire department’s stabilization fund because emergency medical services may fall under the department.
The Town’s Special Meeting Terms of Reference can be viewed at bit.ly/3xYd53Z
Voters are being asked to approve a budget of nearly $1.9 million, or $97,678 or a 5.5% increase over the current budget. Notable increases include $9,000 for the Selectboard Diesel Account, a $10,000 increase for City Utilities, and a $20,377 increase for Education, most of which stems from an increased assessment of l Pioneer Valley Regional School.
Glabach said the rising cost of diesel fuel for highway department vehicles and fire trucks is driving up the Selectboard’s diesel account and that oil prices are driving the increase in the services budget public.
Section 15 requires residents to change the position of clerk from an elected position to one appointed by the selection committee for a one-year term. If approved, the change will come into effect in fiscal year 2024.
In recent years, the city has gradually changed some positions to involve appointments because Glabach said it gave more people a chance to take jobs.
“It’s a trend today to broaden your pool of candidates,” he said. “We have an excellent clerk at the moment, but we had problems finding someone to run for the job.”
He said the city has also worked to increase its allowances over the years to make the jobs more “appealing” to people.
Section 14 asks voters to appropriate $63,000 to pay off broadband debt, which Glabach says is a start to repaying the loan.
“Eventually our hope is that broadband will support the loan,” he said, “but it’s too early in the game to put such a burden on it.”
The mandate of the annual municipal assembly can be consulted at bit.ly/3Hv25hM
Chris Larabee can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4081.