2006-06-01 / Front Page

Financial town meeting next Monday

More than 4,000 Jamestown voters are eligible to vote on a once-in-a-century item as well as the annual town budget at the annual financial town meeting Monday, June 5, that starts at 7 p.m. at the Lawn Avenue School.

On the agenda will be the proposal to spend up to $3 million for a new town hall that is intended to last at least a century. It would replace and combine the existing Town Hall on Narragansett Avenue, which has stood for 117 years, the planning and recreation offices on an adjacent parcel on West Street, and the Town Office complex on Southwest Avenue. At least 10 contractors are expected to compete for the project.

Voters will also be asked by the Town Council and School Committee to approve a proposed $18,987,026 budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 and on six resolutions in addition to the one for a new town hall. The councilapproved budget provides $11,221,858 for schools and $7,765,168 for town government.

Town Moderator James Donnelly will preside over the meeting.

No proposals were received by the mid-May deadline for budget changes of $10,000 or more, meaning little change will be possible at the meeting.

If approved, the proposed budget represents a 4.4 percent increase in the tax rate, or $9.49 per thousand dollars of property valuation as compared to $9.09 for the current fiscal year that ends June 30. That rate reflects an increase of $152 for the owner of a median-valued island home of $380,000.

Resolutions

Three resolutions to be adopted are for the town hall, exemptions for volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services volunteers, and a new formula for tax relief for totally disabled people being provided in response to requests for tax relief for people who are deaf.

Four resolutions are annual "housekeeping" items: authorizing

the sewer-line frontage tax rate, which will remain at 68 cents a linear foot; borrowing up to $1 million in anticipation of taxes; using back tax collections assigned to the general fund for current costs; and setting the new tax rate.

Last year, a total of 265 eligible voters - less than 1 percent of those eligible -turned out for the annual financial town meeting when all resolutions were approved as presented by voice votes. The session took 20 minutes to complete voter registration and 35 minutes to vote after brief presentations School Committee and the Town Council.

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