The Recorder – Wendell voters approve $ 3.1 million budget, additional police patrols
Posted: 06/13/2021 12:43:49 PM
WENDELL – Residents gathered in the town’s commune on Saturday for the annual general meeting, where they approved a budget of around $ 3.1 million for fiscal 2022 after deliberation.
Sixty-six voters were seated in metal folding chairs inside a section of the commune cordoned off with yellow warning tape. The voter checklist consists of 741 people.
Anna Seeger, Chair of the Board of Evaluators, took the microphone to present a motion to change the numbers for a few items relating to her department. It proposed to increase the amount to be collected and allocated for appraiser expenses to $ 40,600 and to reduce the amount collected and allocated for reassessment to $ 4,825.
“We would rather be conservative now and go up later,” Seeger explained.
Voters passed an article to raise and allocate $ 12,000 for additional police patrols. Last year, Wendell entered into an intermunicipal agreement with Leverett for that town to provide policing services. Leverett Police Chief Scott Minckler said his department charges Wendell an extra shift per week. On Saturday, he explained that his department receives about 32 calls from Wendell each month, and Selectboard chairman Dan Keller said there were more and more speeding complaints on Wendell’s roads.
Resident Morgan Mead said he was concerned about over-policing in Wendell. He said he was disheartened to see an armed police officer at the polls when he voted, and he was shocked to find Minckler and another officer at the town’s annual meeting. But Minckler said he was only present to respond to this particular article, and the officer is new and was there to introduce himself to the townspeople.
Voters also passed an article to transfer $ 5,000 from the Stabilization Fund to purchase participation equipment for the fire department. Fire Captain Asa de Roode explained that the response equipment, tailored to each firefighter, is what they wear to get into a structure fire. The cost is approximately $ 2,700 per firefighter.
De Roode mentioned he was joined on Saturday by new firefighter Matthew Regnier, who recently turned 18 and was attending his first annual city meeting.
Voters rejected an article that asked if they wanted the three-member City Council of Lights to be elected, as opposed to appointed. The City Council of Light manages the broadband fiber optic network built by the city.
Contact Domenic Poli at: [email protected] or
413-772-0261, ext. 262.