EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 7, 2013

Atkinson voters asked to OK $4M budget

By Alex Lippa

---- — ATKINSON — Insect control is near the top of Town Administrator Bill Innes’s wish list for Town Meeting.

The town is asking voters for $47,390 to be placed in the mosquito control expendable trust fund. The town also is asking voters to approve bow hunting in the Town Forest to reduce the deer population.

“There is a threat of Lyme disease and (Eastern equine encephalitis),” Innes said. “It is important to control these as best as we can.”

Other articles would add money to capital reserve funds for winter maintenance, recreation and legal expenses.

The first asks the town to add $10,000 into the Winter Capital Reserve fund.

“This would allow the highway department to build up money for more severe winters,” Innes said.

The town has about $60,000 budgeted for maintenance each winter.

The town also is asking for $10,000 to a legal capital reserve fund.

“We want to have money in place in case we get a lot of legal activity one year,” Innes said.

Twelve thousand dollars was spent on legal matters in 2012, Innes said.

Other articles for capital reserve funds include $90,000 for potential fire equipment and $15,000 for development of recreation fields and facilities.

Voters will decide whether to approve the $4 million proposed town budget. The proposed budget is $140,767 more than the default budget.

“(The default budget) would just allow us to do the bare minimum,” Innes said. “We wouldn’t have enough money to do all of the things that we have wanted to.

Law enforcement items also are on the warrant. The town is asking for a new police cruiser and a new fire tanker. The police cruiser will be paid for mostly by the taxpayers, while the fire tanker would come from a capital reserve fund.

Voters will asked to approve the positions of town webmaster and tree warden.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Atkinson Community Center, 4 Main St.