WILLIAMSTOWN -- Changes in zoning bylaws, a citizens petition requesting funds to save The Spruces Mobile Home Park, and a civil fingerprinting bylaw are some issues voters will tackle at annual town meeting.
The meeting, which features 38 warrant articles, will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, at Mount Greylock Regional High School. Voters are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes early to check in.
Voters will be asked to approve a $6.7 million budget for fiscal year 2014, a 2.4 percent increase from the current fiscal year.
Article 29 of the warrant asks voters to adopt a Civil Fingerprinting Bylaw that would allow the police to conduct fingerprint-based criminal background checks for people applying for certain licenses.
If enacted, the police would charge a $50 fee for each fingerprinting and background check, with a portion of the fee being deposited into the Firearms Fingerprint Identity Verification Trust Fund.
Article 36, which appears by citizens petition, requests the town appropriate $365,000 to the Save the Spruces group.
The petition, submitted by Stratton Road resident Kenneth Swiatek, requests the funds to assist residents of the Tropical Storm Irene-ravaged mobile home park in purchasing the park from owner Morgan Management.
The warrant will feature two articles that were also on April 24's special town meeting warrant -- Article 37, which asks voters to allow land transfers for affordable housing purposes be done by a majority vote at town meeting, and Article 37, which asks the town to transfer 10 acres of the 30-acre Lowry property on Stratton Road to the Selectmen. Both articles were overwhelmingly tabled by residents at the special town meeting.
Articles 30 through 35, submitted by the Planning Board, would make several changes in zoning bylaws. Proposed changes would create a new Southern Gateway District along Cold Spring Road, and combine General Residence 1 and 2 into a single zone.
Articles 25 through 28 asks voters to appropriate funds from the Community Preservation Act, funded by a 2 percent property tax surcharge, for five uses: $25,000 to the
South Williamstown Historical Committee for preserving gravestones at Southlawn Cemetery, $2,000 to David and Judy Loomis for the restoration and preservation of a chimney at the Colonel Benjamin Simonds House, $65,000 to the Conservation Commission for drilling a new well at Margaret Lindley Park, and $200,000 to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for the creation of housing.
Article nine asks voters to raise and appropriate $718,254 for 10 capital projects.
Voters will also be asked to raise and appropriate $5.4 million for the operation of Williamstown Elementary School (a 2.4 percent increase from last year), $267,523 for the town's share to Northern Berkshire Vocational Regional School District (a 10.9 percent decrease), and $4.5 million for the town's share to Mount Greylock Regional School District (a 1.08 percent decrease).
The warrant booklets are available beforehand at Town Hall and the town website.
To reach Edward Damon, email