The Town of Halifax will hold a special town meeting on Monday, July 25, 2016 in the Halifax Elementary School Gym (the site has been moved because of the ongoing On Stage production in the Multi-Purpose Room) at 7:30pm. Given that there is no air conditioning, dress is informal (some attendees may wear Hawaiian shirts).
There are six articles on the warrant:
Article 1 would appropriate an additional $210,000 for wages for the Fire Department in order to increase staffing on the daytime and nighttime shifts. Earlier this year, the Board of Selectmen increased the fees for ambulance services. Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue confirmed that the new fee schedule should result in an increase in collections sufficient to cover this cost so that additional property taxes will not be necessary to cover any of this cost.
Article 2 would fund the new contract between the Town and the dispatchers' union. The Town approved similar agreements with the patrol officers, sergeants, highway and cemetery employees, and the firefighters at the annual town meeting in May. The Board of Selectmen will request $9,722 to fund this contract.
Article 3 would combine the various line items for the Communications Center (Wages, Clerical, and Expense) into one line item.
Article 4 is the first step in the process of the renovation and repair project for the Halifax Elementary School. This appropriation is necessary to meet the requirements of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) and to make the Town eligible for reimbursement from the MSBA. The school roof, most of which is now over 20 years old, must be replaced. In addition, approximately three dozen windows would be replaced and repairs and/or renovations to various other structural elements of the school would also be included. The Town needs to hire a Owner's Project Manager and an architect/engineer to complete a feasibility study and schematic drawings for the project. The money covers hiring both parties (the Massachusetts School Building Authority selects them). The appropriation request is $140,000 from the Stabilization Fund which
requires a 2/3 majority for approval. If the project moves forward, then the Town is eligible to be reimbursed 55% of the expenditures.
Article 5 would appropriate additional money for work on Monponsett Pond. As of Friday, July 22, it is expected that the Board of Selectmen will request that the Town Meeting take no action on this article.
Article 6 would appropriate money to help repair and renovate the HOPS playground between the Holmes Public Library and the Water/Building Department. As of Friday, July 22, it is expected that the Board of Selectmen will request that the Town Meeting take no action on this article.