Articles set for Southwick Special Town Meeting

SOUTHWICK – The Board of Selectmen approved the warrant for the Nov. 5 Special Town Meeting last night.
There are eight articles on the warrant, five of which total $378,801. The warrant will be sent to town counsel for approval before being official.
“The warrant has to be finalized, signed and posted by Friday,” said Chief Administrative Officer Karl Stinehart.
The first article relates to the funding of a three year agreement with the newly formed firefighters union as well as funds for a library director and assistant director, totaling $7,800.
Article 2 is in regards to a transfer of $61,000 for repairs due to water main breaks. Of that, $10,000 is for contracted equipment, $36,000 for stock supplies, and $15,000 for surface material.
Article 3 is to fund an additional $160,000 for a new water tank.
“The bid was $160,000 more than originally appropriated,” said Stinehart. “There were only two qualified bids and this was the lower of the two.”
Article 4 asks for an additional appropriation of $150,000 for the parallel sewer interceptor project.
Representatives of Tighe & Bond met with the board last week and said a privately owned underground tank is the cause of a delay, more work and more cost.
Selectmen Chairman Russell Fox said that the issue is the problem of the property owner and the hope was to have the funds reimbursed at a later time.
Tom Witham of the Finance Committee asked if there was a possibility for another unforeseen cost.
“When you start digging underground you don’t know what you’ll find,” Stinehart said.
Fox added that the board and Tighe & Bond were hopeful that there would be no more surprise costs.
Articles 5 and 6 pertain to special acts of legislation that would allow retired police officers Richard Cross and Kenneth Laxton to continue to work for the department until age 70 as reserve officers.
A $1 appropriation in Article 7 is for a permanent easement from T.J. Welch for the electronic town crier at 622 College Highway.
Article 8 is a request from School Superintendent John Barry to secure additional local funds for a new high school track. A donor has offered $400,000 toward a new track expected to cost up to $650,000. The School Committee approved appropriating $98,000 of unexpended capital funds to the project and Barry is seeking Community Preservation money for the remaining funds.
Fox said the details of the request are not finalized and the board voted to approve the article pending a resolution between the schools and Community Preservation Committee.

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