Preview of Lanesborough Annual Town Meeting
source: townnews.com

Preview of Lanesborough Annual Town Meeting

The Lanesborough Annual Town Meeting is set to take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Lanesborough Elementary School, located at 188 Summer St. This year’s meeting will address several key issues, including the approval of an $11.8 million budget, which marks a 4.32 percent increase from the previous year. A significant portion of this budget, $6.82 million, is allocated to the Mount Greylock and Northern Berkshire Vocational regional school districts. The schools’ budget alone has increased by $237,129, making up nearly half of the overall budget hike.

Among the warrant articles to be discussed are measures related to rental properties. Voters will consider a 6 percent excise tax on rental properties and a 3 percent impact fee on professionally managed short-term rentals. These measures aim to regulate and generate revenue from the growing rental market in the town.

Other notable items on the agenda include funding for various town services and infrastructure. The town will vote on allocating $188,559 for the ambulance enterprise fund, which is financed through user fees and the town’s general budget. Additionally, $38,000 is proposed for the local access television enterprise fund to cover salaries and expenses for new equipment in the community room.

The meeting will also address the purchase and equipping of a new police vehicle, with a proposed budget of $65,000. This cost will be shared between the Baker Hill Road District Fund and free cash. Another significant expenditure is $125,000 to replace a 2014 one-ton highway dump truck, ensuring the town’s infrastructure remains up-to-date.

In terms of governance, the town will consider deleting a finance committee bylaw related to the removal of committee members for non-attendance, to align with state statutes. Additionally, there will be a vote on accepting an annual consumer price index increase for senior property tax exemptions, which aims to provide financial relief to senior citizens.

The meeting will also discuss amending town bylaws to allow for accessory dwelling units to be up to 2,500 square feet, a significant increase from the current 900 square feet limit. This change could provide more housing options and flexibility for residents.

A citizens’ petition to increase the Select Board membership from three to five members will also be on the table. This proposal aims to enhance representation and decision-making within the town’s governance structure.

For those who require accommodations, such as a town report in Braille or another language, the Town Administrative Assistant can be contacted at [email protected].

The Document Center provides easy access to public documents related to the town meeting. Categories are sorted by sequence, and documents are available for review. This includes the FY25 Department and Committee Budget Requests, the FY25 Proposed Operating Budget, and the Explanation of Articles for the FY25 Warrant.

Residents are encouraged to review these documents to better understand the issues at hand and participate in the town meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for Lanesborough residents to have their voices heard and contribute to the decision-making process that will shape the future of their community.