Pittsfield: Petition article to form school study committee

  • Fred Okrent of Pittsfield recites the Pledge of Alligence at the Pittsfield first deliberative session on Saturday morning, February 1, 2020. —Monitor file

Published: 3/6/2020 3:26:26 PM
Modified: 3/6/2020 3:26:12 PM

Hot topic: A petition warrant article advises the school board to once again investigate options for sending high school students out of town and to end in-town programs. A select board-appointed committee concluded more than three years ago that closing Pittsfield’s high school would likely save taxpayers little, if any, money.

Budget: The proposed operating budget for the town is $4.77 million, up $266,673 from last year’s approved budget of $4.5 million. If voters defeat this article, the default budget of $4.56 million would take effect. Town Administrator Cara Marston said the increases to the budget are largely a result of the town’s contractual obligations. There is also an extra pay period in 2020.

The estimated tax rate of the proposed town budget is $10.58 per $1,000 assessed property value, an increase of $1.38 per $1,000 valuation or $414 on a home assessed at $300,000.

The proposed operating budget for the school district is $10.7 million, up $331,527 from last year’s approved budget of $10.4 million. The budget includes the addition of one foreign language teacher, one-half salary and benefits for a district social worker and salary increases for support staff. Should that budget be defeated, the default budget of $10.2 million would take effect.

If the school budget is approved, the school portion of the tax rate would decrease $1.90 per $1,000 assessed property value due to anticipated revenues.

Noteworthy articles: The town is asking voters to fund the completion of the Shaw Road bridge over Kelly Brook at a cost of $614,979 with $57,996 raised by taxes. The select board is also asking voters to allow them to rent or lease public property for not more than one year to New England Solar Garden Corp. for the installation and operation of a solar array. Both the town and the district have proposed several warrant articles asking voters to place money in capital reserve funds for future expenses.

Contested races: For one three-year term as town treasurer, Ammy Ramsey and Donna Stockman. David Stasiak is running to unseat incumbent Cedric Dustin III as a cemetery trustee. Planning Board Chairman Paul Nickerson is seeking reelection and running against Adam Gauthier and James Pritchard for a three-year term on the board.

For one three-year position on the school board, incumbent Michael Wolfe and Jessica Drouin.

When and where: Ballot voting for the town and school district will be held on Tuesdya from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Town Hall at 85 Main St.

Alyssa Dandrea




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