ADAMS -- Town Meeting approved all three warrant articles on the agenda at a special town meeting Thursday night that had been rescheduled from Monday due to Hurricane Sandy.
A turnout of 87 members was more than enough to make a quorum, and the articles they voted on included an authorization for officials to pay for emergency borrowing and the approval of two increases to the town’s payout policy for surviving spouse benefits.
It took all of five minutes for Town Meeting to unanimously approve the articles.
The first article enabled town officials to borrow $191,000 in the form of a five-year bond to cover emergency borrowing costs from a major storm that predated Hurricane Sandy, and was far more destructive: Tropical Storm Irene in August, 2011.
Containing several repair projects undertaken after the storm, the sum represents the town’s end of repairs to two washouts along East Road and road and culvert repairs to Charles and Davis streets. The total cost of each project was reimbursed at a minimum of 75 percent by either the Federal Emergency Management Agency or the state.
Town Administrator Jonathan Butler ans wered Town Meeting Member Jeffrey Le febvre’s question as to the estimated cost of interest on the loan at the meeting.
"[The interest] we don’t yet know exactly," Butler said. "It will be between one-and-a-quarter and two percent, based on what we’re seeing this week."
The town’s final Irene-influenced project -- the Tophet Brook dredging -- is ongoing. RC & D Inc., of Rhode Island, is performing this project, having won a bidding process last month with an offer of $295,000. The project’s cost was originally estimated at $500,000, and the high end of five bids received by the town was $800,000. Coupled with the $191,000 authorized Thursday, the town’s total Irene payout looks to be just under $500,000.
The next two articles had come at the recommendation of the Retirement Board, pertaining to town employees.
The first increases a surviving spouse’s minimum retirement allowance from $250 to $500 per month in the event that their husband or wife died before retiring.
The next likewise enabled the surviving spouse of a deceased disability retiree to collect additional funds, up to $9,000 per year from $6,000.
Neither case exists in town at present, but the Retirement Board previously said that these adjustments would put Adams on par with what neighboring communities offer.
To reach Phil Demers, email email@example.com.