BELMONT — The deliberative session of the annual Town Meeting is this Saturday at the Belmont High School at 10 a.m.
Voters will be able to discuss and make changes to warrant articles, including Article 8, which is the the town's operating budget request of $7,345,399. If this fails, a default budget of $7,427,658 will go into effect for 2016.
The one article submitted by petition can be discussed but not changed at the deliberative session is Article 2 which, if passed, would prohibit all industrial uses in the Aquifer and Groundwater Protection District. The Planning Board does not recommend this article.
Article 3 is a bond for $375,000 for the purpose of reconstruction a box culvert on Hoadley Road. Because this is a bond, this article must pass by a 3/5 vote and is supported by both the Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee.
Article 4 will allow the selectmen to enter into a long-term lease for a new pumper truck for Belmont Fire and Rescue for up to $560,000 payable over a term of 120 months. The article allows the town to raise and appropriate $63,507 for the first years payment and further authorizes that this money come from the Fire/Ambulance Equipment and Apparatus Special Revenue Fund which was established for the purpose of purchase large equipment. Because the lease does not include an escape clause, this article must pass by a 3/5 vote. The Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen recommend this article.
Article 5 proposes to amend a vote taken in 1999 that restricts all ambulance billing revenue to the Fire/Ambulance Equipment account to restrict all but the first $45,500 to the account. For at least five years, the town has been using a small portion of this account for training expenses, medical and supply expenses and ambulance billing fees. A 2/3 majority is needed to pass and both the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen recommend passage.
Article 6 proposed to use the same Fire /Ambulance equipment account to purchase a new command vehicle for $40,000. The selectmen and the Budget Committee recommend passage and since this is a one-time only expense, a simple majority is needed to pass.
A number of warrant articles seek to add a total of $855,950 to seven capital reserve accounts including bridge repair and highway reconstruction.
Voting on the articles will take place on Election Day, March 8. The Town Clerk/Tax Collector's Office will be open until 5 p.m. today to take filings for office, as it is the last day to file.