The Select Board, by a vote of 5-0, closed the warrant for April Town Meeting at its meeting on February 13. The meeting occurred after the joint Select Board/School Committee meeting and after a Select Board executive session on the same night. The warrant, which is the list of business items that Town Meeting will act upon, consists of twenty-six articles, the first seven of which were referred to by Town Manager Robert LeLacheur as “standard” articles, that appear at every town meeting. These include reports, capital plan and current year budget amendments, unpaid bills from previous years, and the disposing of surplus property.
Other articles of interest include article eight which asks town meeting to amend the bylaw allowing staff to dispose of surplus property valued less than $25,000. Article ten would set up a revolving fund to handle monies paid by the cable companies to the town that is allocated to Reading Community Television. This is to make the handling of these funds in compliance with the new Massachusetts Department of Revenue regulations. Article fourteen will ask Town Meeting if the town can enter into a technology back-up contract of greater than three but no greater than six years. The extended contract could save the town thousands of dollars in the coming years. The School Committee already voted to recommend this article. Article fifteen asks Town Meeting to authorize debt for the replacement of the “Turf 2” field at Reading Memorial High School, and article sixteen asks to authorize $4 million in debt for building security upgrades. Articles seventeen and eighteen will ask the town to appropriate money from the water fund for a water tank upgrade and repairs to the water main on Grove Street. Article nineteen asks if the town will accept $600,000 of state Chapter 90 money earmarked for road repair.
Articles twenty-one through twenty-three have to do with the purchase or sale of parcels of land by the town. Article twenty-four seeks to amend the bylaws, removing all gender-specific language from the document. This is the result of the vote of a previous town meeting asking the Bylaw Committee to suggest the changes. Article twenty-five seeks to fix grammatical and spelling issues found in the bylaws while the gender-specific language was being addressed.
Article twenty asks Town Meeting to approve the recommended Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
Town Meeting is scheduled to begin on April 22 at 7:30 pm.