Town meeting 2021

CHARLESTOWN — Town voters will get their first crack at this year’s warrant Saturday at Charlestown’s annual deliberative session.

The session is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. in the gym of Charlestown Middle School. The session can also be viewed online via Zoom by going to https://bit.ly/3t8KpAP. The virtual option is strictly for viewing the meeting, not for participating in it. Those who wish to participate must attend in person.

Two separate articles — for water-system and broadband Internet projects — seek to raise money through bonds and would each require a three-fifths supermajority to pass. For the water-system project, officials are asking for a $4.6 million bond, and they’re seeking a $2.1 million bond for the broadband project. Both articles would also authorize the selectboard to apply for and accept state, federal or other aid for these projects.

Article 5 asks voters to raise $5,914,950, which would include a town operating budget of $4,762,737, along with $723,822 for the water-fund operating budget and $428,391 for the sewer-fund operating budget. This article notes that if voters approve the bond for the water-system project, the water-fund budget will be reduced by $230,000.

Three separate articles ask voters to allow selectmen to enter into lease-to-purchase agreements for highway vehicles and to raise funds for the first year’s payments. They are a five-year, $120,000 agreement for a one-ton truck ($25,972 for the first year); a seven-year, $140,000 agreement for a backhoe ($22,293 for the first year); and a seven-year, $190,000 agreement for a six-wheel truck ($30,141 for the first year). All of these agreements contain escape clauses.

During Saturday’s deliberative session, voters can discuss and amend warrant articles before voting them up or down at the polls in March.