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September 30, 2013

W. Newbury board looks at items proposed for fall warrant

WEST NEWBURY — Selectmen took an initial peek at a draft for the warrant voters will consider at a Special Town Meeting in November. The preliminary document had 19 articles on the agenda for the meeting scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 in the Town Annex, 379 Main St.

The fall Special Town meeting is typically held to deal with outstanding bills or other items that, for various reasons, were not able to be addressed at the Annual Meeting in April, although other types of requests are not altogether unusual.

A few notable items on the draft warrant for this year’s fall meeting include:

$299,222.57 for the town’s share of expenses and upkeep of facilities and grounds at the Page Elementary School, as stipulated in a lease agreement with the regional school district;

$9,000 to reimburse DPW building operating expenses for chairs bought for the new Page School cafetorium;

$1,500 to hire an administrative assistant for the Finance Committee for 20 hours per week.

Voters may also be asked to consider authorizing selectmen to enter into a lease to facilitate the installation and operation of a solar array on Main Street and a power purchase agreement of no more than 30 years to buy photovoltaic energy generated at the site.

And selectmen have left a space holder on the warrant for possible acceptance of the Soldiers and Sailors Edward Memorial located at 359 Main St. as a gift from Charles L. Carr Post. Selectmen are working with the Community Preservation Committee to investigate costs and possible funding sources to renovate the aging property, also known as the American Legion Hall.

Selectmen Chairman Bert Knowles Jr. spoke against a request for $37,659 to fully fund the Other Post Retirement Benefits obligation, an amount that would be added to the $103,000 voters have already approved for the purpose. Knowles feels the account is overfunded, but his colleagues want to look into the matter further before deciding whether to keep the request on the final warrant.

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