SOUTHWICK – The Southwick Special and Annual Town Meetings June 16 will take place outside due to social distancing guidelines for COVID-19.
The Special Town Meeting will convene at 6 p.m. at Southwick Regional School, East Parking Lot, followed by the Annual Town Meeting at 6:15 p.m.
This will be the last town meetings with Town Moderator James Putnam II. Putnam did not seek re-election. Celeste St. Jacques, the new moderator, will also attend the meeting.
Putnam said the meetings are open to all registered voters in Southwick. The Warrants and extensive explanatory materials are posted on the town website, southwickma.org.
The Special Town Meeting Warrant includes three articles, the first of which is to transfer from Free Cash $58,548.00 for salaries in various accounts. The second article is to transfer $130,000 from Free Cash for snow and ice removal, and the third article is transfer from Free Cash $20,000.00 to the Other Post-Employment Benefits Trust Fund.
The Annual Town Meeting warrant includes 19 articles.
Among them is an article to accept the town budget of $14,668,894 and the school budget of $11,665,880.
There is an article to see if the town will vote to amend Chapter 25 of the Code of the Town of Southwick to establish a new revolving fund entitled Local Wetland Application Revolving Fund, one to see if the town will appropriate $1,000,000 or any other amount, to pay costs of roadway reconstruction, including costs of paving, resurfacing and for the payment of all other costs incidental and related thereto, and one to see if the Town will appropriate $1,100,000 or any other amount, to pay costs of replacing the roof and making masonry repairs at the Southwick Fire Station.
Article 10 is to see if the town will vote to set up a budgeted reserve from the Community Preservation Fund annual revenues the amounts recommended by the Community Preservation in Fiscal Year 2021 with each item to be considered a separate reserve.
Proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Community preservation Reserves
- To reserve $41,166 from FY2021 Community Preservation Fund revenues for Open Space.
- To reserve $41,166 from FY2021 Community Preservation Fund revenues for Historic Resources.
- To reserve $41,166 from FY2021 Community Preservation Fund revenues for Community Housing.
- To reserve $288,162 from FY2021 Community Preservation Fund revenues for Community Preservation General Unreserved Fund.
In a press release, Putnam stated that “all social distancing protocols enacted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Southwick Board of Health shall be followed at Town Meeting: 1. All attendees required to maintain 6 feet distance from others, except members of same household. 2. All attendees required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth unless exempted by their primary care physician. 3. Once meeting adjourns, please exit in an orderly fashion maintaining 6-feet distancing. 4. Any voter with a positive test for Covid-19, having a fever, shortness of breath or otherwise having symptoms should not attend this meeting. If in doubt, please stay home.”
Putnam asked voters bring insect repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses and bottled water. Chairs will be provided and portable rest rooms will be available.
“Please do not bring children or other non-voters,” Putnam wrote. “Once on the grounds, please cooperate with our Southwick Police officers and Town Clerk’s Office staff to get checked in and seated.”
In case of inclement weather, the meeting will take place June 17.