Trustees Place a LOT on the April Ballot
by Irene Wrenner
March 16, 2022
The Village Trustees met on March 8th for under 90 minutes and set a lot in motion.
They warned an information hearing for April 6th at 7 pm for residents to learn more about the many items on their Annual Meeting ballot, which include:
$6.3 million FYE23 Budget adopted on February 22nd. It includes revenue of $375,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds which minimizes the overall municipal tax increase to about $32 on a property valued at $280,000.
$3 million bond to finance the replacement of the Main Street waterline; a
1% local option tax (LOT) on sales, meals and rooms, and alcohol;
5% increase in the financial reserve limit (fund balance) from 10%;
Question on whether to allow retail cannabis sales (similar to that on the Town ballot);
3-year seat on the Trustees for which Andrew Champagne and Raj Chawla are running;
5-year seat on the Brownell Library Board; and
Annual Village Meeting Moderator position.
The Village budget vote is Tuesday, April 12th with the EHS polls open 7 am to 7 pm. At that time, the Essex Westford School District budget and a three-year Village school board seat will also be voted on. Sample ballots link coming soon.
In other business, the Trustees welcomed Colleen Dwyer, the new HR Director for the Village.
They thanked Tammy Getchell for going above and beyond to get out Village Annual Meeting information; she is now a Town employee.
New Village HR Director Colleen Dwyer
They agreed to an overhaul of the Village website for $19,000 by Ecopixel, the firm who created it.
They granted a sound waiver to CV Expo during fair week, so that trash may be picked up as early as 6 am.
The Trustees noted that the Separation Charter, if the legislature passes it, requires a switch to a Planning Commission and a Development Review Board that they need to prepare for.
Per the Selectboard’s wish to separate all committees, the Trustees noted that the Tri-Town Sewer Committee could not be split. The future of the joint Essex Housing Commission and Essex BEST (Building Equity, Solidarity and Trust) are yet to be determined.