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Bellingham Bulletin

Budget Passes at Bellingham Annual Town Meeting

May 27, 2018 12:14PM ● By Amy Bartelloni

Teller Bob Robbio checks in Bellingham resident Lynn Scornavacca at the annual town meeting.

story & photo by Amy Bartelloni

With the recommendation of the finance committee, Bellingham residents approved a $57 million dollar budget at town meeting on May 23rd in the high school auditorium.  Residents were given the opportunity to ask questions about the budget items, which included line items for town agencies and boards, including a $3.3 million budget for police, $3 million for fire, and the school department’s $25.7 million dollar budget, broken into salaries and expenses.

Bellingham residents took the opportunity to ask for clarification on several line items on issues such as the increased fire budget, which is due to the new fire station in south Bellingham and the increase in school transportation costs, the result of a new bus contract and an increase in special education transportation costs.

Other articles passed included the following:
  • An article authorizing the Board of Selectmen to accept and/or purchase conveyances or easements for town projects.
  • Articles approving the raising and appropriation of $2.8 million for water enterprise, $1.4 million for sewer enterprise, and $1.6 million for trash enterprise.
  • An article authorizing the Board of Selectmen to accept and/or purchase conveyances or easements for town projects.
  • An article authorizing the Department of Public Works Director to purchase surplus government equipment.
  • An article authorizing the Board of Selectmen to sell at public auction any property the Town may have acquired through proceedings based upon non-payment of taxes, or under proceedings for the sale of lands of low value.
  • An annual Chapter 90 article that authorizes the Board of Selectmen to accept money for the state, to be used for engineering, equipment, and various road repairs.
  • Articles amending articles 1, 2, and 3 of the 2017 town meeting by amending appropriations or transferring funds from the DPW, trash enterprise, and water enterprise.
  • An article regarding non-capital outlay expenditure (expenditure of less than $50,000) for the DPW to replace drives at water stations #4 and #5 for $20,000, and $31,100 for the fire department to purchase two “LUCAS” chest compression systems.
  • Approval of total expenditures for various town revolving funds.
  • Acceptance of a portion of Lakeview Ave as a public way, and authorizing the Board of Selectmen to acquire or take by eminent domain permanent roadway, drainage, and utility easements to allow for the connection of two dead-end water mains in the area of 137 Lakeview Ave, and raise or appropriate up to $20,000 related thereto.
Town meeting results will be published on the town of Bellingham website at www.bellinghamma.org, and questions can be forwarded to the town clerk’s office at 508-657-2830.

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