SHIRLEY -- Selectmen at their July 9 meeting made a few budget line-item transfers, ceding surplus funds in some accounts to cover deficits in others. The list included $300 transferred from computer services to computer expenses and $750 from public buildings to business machines.
In addition, $1,141 was moved from the ambulance enterprise fund to pay hourly wages in that department.
Treasurer Kevin Johnston requested a transfer of $1,900 from short-term debt service, which showed a $5,000 surplus, to the treasurer's expense account.
Asked to itemize shortfalls the transfer was needed for, Johnston said the infusion would cover fees previously paid to financial advisors for debt management and "actions taken." With other bills still outstanding, the expense account balance was only $136, he explained.
In other business, selectmen tabled indefinitely a request they had discussed at two previous meetings. Citing safety reasons, a resident asked for a lower speed limit and a posted 5-ton weight limit on Longley Road. The stated intent of the weight limit was to divert truck traffic to nearby Townsend Road or Great Road/Route 2A.
The resident did not attend the meetings to argue the cause.
At the recent session, Selectman David Swain said the DPW foreman didn't favor the action, noting that Longley Road ranges from 20 to 30 feet across and is wide enough to accommodate tractor-trailers. The speed limit is set by the state, he said.
The board voted to take no action.
The governor has signed the state budget, Chief Administrative Officer Dave Berry said, with added state aid to cities and towns left in. Another key item for Shirley is prison mitigation money, which also stayed intact.
Originally, the town received an annual amount as "mitigation" for hosting two state correctional facilities within its borders. The funding formula was based on prison population, but there were years when the governor scratched the funding and one year the Department of Corrections retained the funds when its own budget was strained.
Berry didn't know how much the town could expect to receive this year. "We'll see what the amount is," he said.
An issue that Bryan Dumont raised at annual Town Meeting has apparently been resolved. Dumont questioned the legality of assessing sewer betterment fees to town buildings, citing a provision in state law that he said prohibits it.
Town Collector Holly Haase disagreed. She said the issue had been properly vetted before the sewer system was completed and that the town had opted to pay its fair share.
Town Meeting agreed to hold off on paying the betterments, bankrolling the budgeted amount until it could be determined whether or not the town could take on betterments. Now, Town Counsel Gary Brackett has said the answer is yes, Berry said.