WEST NEWBURY — It is unlikely a tax override will be needed to fund a $12.5 million budget for next year, Finance Director Warren Sproul told selectmen.
In a brief update on the status of the budget process at the board's meeting last Wednesday, Sproul reported that his most recent draft of the budget is balanced. What remains to be discussed is whether to fully fund both the town's post-employment benefit obligation and an increased contribution to the stabilization account within the line-item budget.
Because selectmen and the Finance Committee have differing positions on it, Sproul's recommendation would be to partially fund each program within the operating budget and place articles on the warrant to allow voters to decide whether to fully fund these requests.
The budget should be finalized at the board's next meeting on April 4. The Annual Town Meeting is April 30.
In other business, selectmen received notification from John Hutchinson that dignitaries from the town's African sister-city will be visiting this spring. Hutchinson, who co-founded the Alliance Dalaba-West Newbury reports that Yazi Dogo and his wife Hadja Aminata Djima will be staying at his Main Street home for a month and a half starting at the end of April.
Yazi has a well-known theater group that has performed for state officials and village children alike throughout Niger and West Africa. Hadja runs a women's NGO called Aiki Yanke Talauci dedicated to helping women fight poverty and marginalization.
Contributions to help offset the cost for their visit maybe sent to Mother Tongue Editions, 511 Main St., West Newbury, MA 01985.
Residents are reminded that the Annual Clean Up West Newbury weekend is March 31-April 1. Everyone is encouraged to spend a little time over the weekend picking up trash along the roadways in their neighborhoods, said organizer Barbara Haack. Gloves and bags provided by the Board of Health will be available in boxes in front of the West Newbury Foodmart. Filled bags left by the roadside will be retrieved by the DPW within a day or two.
The West Newbury Garden Club's annual plant sale is May 19. It features reasonably priced, locally grown plants with proceeds from the sale supporting a scholarship for a local student interested in studying environmental science.
Madelyn Cirinna was selected as the town's nominee for the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources inspector of animals.
Selectmen approved use of the Annex for a Page PTO Fundraising social and silent auction on June 9.
They agreed to hold regular meetings on April 4 and 18.