Essex Town Meeting OKs $6.68M budget

ESSEX — The 160 voters who made up the annual Essex Town Meeting Monday night stood by their elected officials in handling properties at Conomo Point, backed purchasing the town’s streetlights to convert to an LED lighting system, and agreed to shell out $130,000 for a new forestry fire truck.
They also gave their approval to new, fiscal 2018 budgets for the town and the Manchester Essex Regional School District without a peep of discontent, but dug in their heels against allowing the Department of Public Works to raise fees on the town’s recycling and trash services without having to come to them each year for approval.
The 160 voters represented 4 percent of the town’s 2,599 registered voters, and showed a sense of unanimity, including on measures to approve a fiscal 2018 town operating budget of $6.68 million, an increase of $198,000, or 3 percent.
They backed an overall operating budget for the regional school district of $24.79 million, up by 3.27 percent from this year’s $24.07 million spending plan.
Voters didn’t raise a single question or "nay" vote in supporting the town, school district, Essex Tech regional vocational district or the town’s self-sustaining water and sewer enterprise funds.
A citizens petition aimed at holding a non-binding vote next spring to gauge residents’ sentiment regarding the town’s handling of properties at Conomo Point, brought forward and outlined by resident Paul Pennoyer, was moved up on the warrant moments after residents backed a call from Selectwoman Susan Gould Coviello to delay any further appointments to the Conomo Point Planning Committee.
The other no vote came when Trescott DeWitt of the Board of Public Works Commissioners pushed for allowing the Department of Public Works o be able to adjust transfer station rates without requiring approval form Town Meeting.
Appoint members of Conomo Point Planning Committee.
Pay for the town’s fiscal 2018 operating budget of $6.68 million, up 3 percent from current year.
Allow the Department of Public Works Commissioners to raise user fees for transfer station services without having the town voting on it at Annual Town Meeting.

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