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Budgets Expand to Fourth Day

The Representative Town Meeting will hold a fourth day of budget deliberations at Town Hall on Monday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. Lengthy discussions on the library and parks and recreation budgets pushed the Wednesday, May 5, meeting past 1a.m. when RTM Moderator Hadley Rose offered the members the option of continuing the meeting until the budget was completed. He said if they took that route he couldn't foresee completing the budget before 3 a.m. The vote by show of hands was overwhelmingly in favor of continuing the meeting on Monday.

The Monday meeting will revisit two departments previously denied fund restorations. The Conservation Department will be considered for a $20,000 restoration. The Tax Assessor will be reconsidered for an undetermined amount of restorations.

Before adjourning the meeting, Hadley allowed two more line items to be brought before the RTM. The first was a $45,000 restoration of funds to the Railroad Parking Fund and the other was the Earthplace budget. The Railroad Parking Fund was approved unanimously. The Earthplace budget was accepted as presented to the RTM.

Of the restoration requests heard last night, only Public Works and the Library came out victorious. They were awarded $64,000 and $45,000 respectively.

Fire Chief Christopher Ackley and Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy both will be cutting back on services in their respective departments. Two attempts for restoration were made on behalf of both departments and all failed. For the Fire Department, that means Ackley will have to figure out how to pay for overtime to keep a minimal level of staffing on the engines. In McCarthy's case, the maintenance frequency for lower priority services like beach raking and basic park maintenance will decrease.

No one brought a motion to the floor to pass the Westport Weston Health District’s restoration request for $13,793. Weston’s contribution level is affected proportionally by Westport’s. By not granting Westport’s request, Weston’s contribution will also decrease. Most of the funds for the health district come from state source.

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