GROVELAND — Get those masks ready: They'll be required for entry to the annual Town Meeting Monday night at Bagnall School.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m., with 50 registered voters required for a quorum, according to a decision by the selectmen and town moderator. Voters will decide on 39 warrant articles. They range from approving a town budget of nearly $19 million to building a Bagnall School playground suitable for all young children, including those with handicaps.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing guidelines, residents attending the meeting are asked to allow for extra time to check into the gathering, held at the school at 253 School St.
All attendees are asked to wear a mask for the entire meeting. Those without a mask will be provided one and paramedics will conduct temperature checks before people are allowed in. Voters in the same household may sit together. Attendees who decline to wear a face covering will be directed to sit in a "no mask" zone, organizers said.
The town's Finance Board issued its recommendations to residents prior to the meeting, outlining how the town's recommended $18.95 million budget should spent in fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1. The Finance Board recommended 10.51% of the budget be used for public safety and 7.96% be set aside for public works.
"While the town’s obligation to education continues to represent the majority of our annual budget at 64%, we worked carefully to balance the remaining funds over our town’s present and future needs," the Finance Board said in a written statement issued along with the individual warrant articles before the meeting.
Voters will be asked in Article 19 to spend money for a series of community preservation projects, including the creation of an all-inclusive playground at Bagnall Elementary School. The town would spend cost $325,000 to buy and install a playground with equipment compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The school has children in prekindergarten through sixth grade.
Here is a complete list of articles in the Town Meeting warrant:
Article 1: Allow selectmen to ask state legislators for Chapter 90 money to be used for public works purposes.
Article 2: Spend $219,545 for Chapter 90-approved road work. The money will be used pending reimbursement from the state.
Article 3: Spend $900 to pay for heat, electricity, maintenance and any other Fiscal Year 2021 expenses related to operation of the William R. Dewhirst, Jr. Post 7366 meeting place.
Article 4: Accept Homestead Lane as a public way.
Article 5: Authorize selectmen to acquire land for a new community trail. This article requires a two-thirds majority to pass and would allow the town to enter into a lease agreement with National Grid for the trail.
Article 6: Abolish the Personnel Board and transfer its responsibilities to the Board of Selectmen.
Article 7: Amend specific language contained in the town's general bylaws.
Article 8: Amend the town's general bylaws to add a new account for expenses related to Groveland Day.
Articles 9 through 13: Amend specific language contained in the town's general bylaws.
Article 14: Spend $20,000 for the town planner to prepare a parks and recreation operations plan.
Article 15: Spend $25,000 to create a dog park managed by the Groveland Dog Park Committee and the finance director.
Article 16: Spend $24,277 to install a document management system at Langley Adams Library to preserve historic documents, photos and files stored there.
Article 17: Spend $130,000 to build a 70-foot-by-25-foot boathouse to store rowing skulls at the Pines. The money would help establish a shared rowing program on the Merrimack River for Groveland, Haverhill, Haverhill High School and Pentucket Regional High School.
Article 18: Spend $17,000 to help complete the design phase of the community rail.
Article 19: Spend $325,000 to buy and install a fully inclusive playground at Bagnall Elementary School. All equipment would comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and be age-appropriate for prekindergarten through sixth-grade students.
Article 20: Spend or put money aside from the Fiscal Year 2021 Community Preservation Fund in the following amounts: committee administrative expenses, $20,000; open space, $50,000; historic resources, $50,000; community housing, $50,000.
Article 21: Approve the following spending in the town's capital plan: upgrades at Bagnall School, $75,000; cemetery pickup truck, $42,000; municipal building improvements, $100,000; full-color digital board, $17,000; one-ton highway dump truck, $85,500; replacement of a police cruiser, $50,940.
Article 22: Use $40,000 from the town's Municipal Electric Department to reduce the tax rate for the 12 months ending June 30, 2021.
Article 23: Spend $13,566 to pay for the conservation agent position.
Article 24: Spend $1,846 for Conservation Commission operating costs.
Article 25: Set spending limits on the following accounts: Veasey Memorial Park, $130,000; Pines boat ramp, $25,000; Zoning Board of Appeals, $15,000; Bagnall Summer Program, $250,000; Council on Aging, $15,000; Fire Department CPR class, $6,000; Pines maintenance, $50,000.
Article 26: Create an account to contain money received through the town's cable TV contract with Comcast. Money would be used for purposes which include supporting public, educational and governmental access cable services.
Article 27: Transfer $50,000 from the overlay surplus account to the Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget.
Article 28: Transfer $85,000 from Fiscal Year 2019 free cash to the Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget.
Article 29: Transfer $100,000 from the Fiscal Year 2019 stabilization fund to the Fiscal Year 2021 operating budget.
Article 30: Transfer $75,000 from Fiscal Year 2019 free cash to the capital stabilization account.
Article 31: Transfer $60,000 from Fiscal Year 2019 free cash to the storm water permit account.
Article 32: Transfer $15,000 from Fiscal Year 2019 free cash to repair the Highway Department's 8-ton truck.
Article 33: Spend $37,100 to buy and outfit a utility truck with a plow for the Water Department
Article 34: Spend $15,900 to buy and outfit a utility truck with a plow for the Sewer Department.
Article 35: Spend $110,000 for future well development.
Article 36: Allow the Water Department to spend $1,113,923 to be offset by Water Department revenue.
Article 37: Allow the Sewer Department to spend $637,364 to be offset by Sewer Department revenue.
Article 38: Spend various sums of money in town departments to defray town charges for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.
Article 39: Fix the salary and compensation of all elected and appointed town officers for the 12 months ending June 30, 2021.