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Minutes
Recording

Whately Select Board Deliberates Senior Center’s Future Amid Lease Concerns

Overview: In a recent Whately Select Board meeting, one notable issue addressed was the future of the senior center amid discussions on lease renewals and potential relocations. The board considered the implications of a decision not to move forward with a lease agreement. This decision has led to considerations about relocating the senior center’s exercise class to the town hall and the challenges associated with such a move. The senior center staff are exploring options to ensure continuity of programming.

Overview: In a recent meeting, the Whately Finance Committee discussed issues regarding vehicle purchases for municipal use and the rising cost of living impacting employee retention. The most pressing topic was the debate over whether the town should invest in electric or hybrid vehicles, considering the longevity, cost-effectiveness, and availability of the necessary infrastructure. This discussion is especially relevant as the town deliberates on the purchase of a new police cruiser and a Highway Department pickup truck.

Overview: In a recent meeting, the Whately School Committee confronted a projected 5.57% increase in the upcoming fiscal year 2022 budget, leading to concerns over potential staff reductions. The committee discussed the financial implications of this increase, debating whether to use federal funds to mitigate the impact or conserve them for future needs. They also tackled the potential addition of a math interventionist position and the long-term effects on the budget, along with other issues such as proposed tax cuts, the principal’s departure, and the cost of composting and duct cleaning at the school.

Overview: The Whately Select Board recently held a meeting addressing significant town matters, including the approval of a consulting contract for assessing services, budget discussions for various departments, and considerations for capital expenses. The board approved a $40,000 contract with a consulting company to provide assessing services following the retirement of the current assessor, Cynthia. This decision was made due to the difficulty in finding a suitable replacement with the necessary assessing experience.

Overview: The Whately Board of Assessors is facing a challenge in staffing, which was the primary focus of their recent meeting. The difficulty in filling the assistant assessor position has led the board to consider hiring a consultant, potentially initiating a 13% budget increase for the upcoming fiscal year. Among the six applicants interviewed for the assistant assessor role, five have declined the offer, leaving only one candidate who lacks sufficient experience in real estate and assessing. The board is now leaning towards employing the services of RRG, a consultant from Leominster, MA, who currently holds contracts with around 30 other communities in the state.

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