TOWNSEND -- At Wednesday night's special Town Meeting, residents voted to appropriate a supplemental amount of $417,728 to the North Middlesex Regional School District budget. The motion passed, 101-43. The appropriation is dependent on the results of a special election Aug. 28, when residents from all three district towns will vote on a Proposition 2 1/2 override.
Townsend was the last town to have a special Town Meeting on the issue. In the last two nights, Pepperell and Ashby both passed articles to appropriate their portions of the school budget, contingent on the results of their special elections.
"It was as expected," said resident Ron Dionne of the results. "The other two towns already voted for it."
Despite its passing, the motion was not without its abutters.
"Don't forget when you vote for a (Proposition) 2 1/2 override, it affects every person in this room, whether you're 20, 40 or 80. It's going to stay with you the rest of your life," said Jerry Copeland of Townsend.
Town Administrator Andrew Sheehan said if the override is approved at election, residents can expect to see an increase of about $51 per $100,000 of their homes' value in property taxes.
Sheehan said that the decision will be made by a 2-1 majority vote between the three towns; this means that if two towns pass the override, the third will still have to pay their portion of the budget regardless of the outcome of its election.
"I think it's good (the the
The supplemental amount is in addition to the $8,105,114 that the town already appropriated to the school as part of their overall budget at the annual Town Meeting in May.
This is the district's second attempt at an override; after a failed attempt June 21, the School Committee voted to approve a new budget of $44,837,082, which is $1,994,291 less than their needs budget and contains $200,000 from the district's reserves.