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Phillipston’s administrative assistant withdraws resignation
07-18-2024 1:10 PM

By GREG VINE

PHILLIPSTON – July 18 was supposed to be the final day for Phillipston Administrative Assistant Melanie Jackson, who had submitted her resignation.Instead, she will remain in the role, but with the new title of chief administrative officerSelectboard...

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Phillipston voters debate $20,000 salary increase at Special Town Meeting
06-28-2024 1:58 PM

By GREG VINE

PHILLIPSTON – A Special Town Meeting convened Wednesday night saw a good deal of debate around one proposed pay increase.The meeting was held following the defeat of a $175,000 Proposition 2 ½ override at the recent Town Election. The override was...


Phillipston Special Town Meeting to decide on revised budget
06-25-2024 2:50 PM

By GREG VINE

PHILLIPSTON – Voters at tonight’s Special Tonight Meeting will be faced with only two warrant articles on which to act.The first asks that the $2,711,000 FY25 budget approved at the May 8 Annual Town Meeting be rescinded and replaced by a proposed...


Athol Town Meeting quickly passes 35 articls, budget
06-14-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – It took just about an hour for 120 voters to approve the 35 articles on the warrant at Monday’s Annual Town Meeting in Athol.The Town Charter required the presence of at least 91 voters to conduct the town’s business.There was very little...


Royalston Town Meeting approves full-time officer, Raymond School upgrades
06-09-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – Ninety-six voters showed up for Saturday’s Annual Town Meeting at Town Hall, but many did not stay the entire four hours it took to finish the 31-article warrant.In the end, one Proposition 2 ½ override, two debt exclusions and a $2.9...


Forty articles to be decided on Athol Town Meetings
06-07-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – When they gather tonight at Town Hall, voters must be prepared to wrestle with a total of 40 warrant articles.Five of those articles will be for the Special Town Meeting, which begins at 6:30, and 35 for the Annual Town Meeting, tentatively...


Budget, capital item articles given green light for Athol Town Meetings
05-28-2024 1:49 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – The Finance and Warrant Advisory Committee Thursday night completed its review of the warrants for the upcoming Town Meetings, both of which are scheduled for June 10.The Special Town Meeting begins and 6:30 p.m., and the Annual Town Meeting...


Royalston’s FinCom debates proposed salary increases
04-26-2024 4:08 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – The Finance Committee Thursday night reviewed the FY25 budget proposed by the town’s Selectboard and offered a couple of changes.The committee held off on making a recommendation on a proposed $75,411 Proposition 2 ½ override to fund the...


Athol Royalston School Committee approves budget on second attempt
04-23-2024 3:29 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – It took two votes, but the Athol Royalston Regional School Committee approved an $32.1 million FY25 general budget for the district at its meeting on Monday, April 22.The final vote came after more than two hours of public comment and...


New expenses prove a hurdle for Athol’s town budget
04-09-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – Town Manager Shaun Suhoski told last week’s meeting of the Selectboard that he, his financial team and town department heads continue their efforts to craft a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Members of the Finance and Warrant...


Athol Town Manager says next fiscal year may be the ‘most challenging’ in the last decade
03-31-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – As he prepares to meet with the Selectboard and Finance and Warrant Advisory Committee to present a proposed town budget, Town Manager Shaun Suhoski said fiscal year 2025 “is shaping up to be among the most challenging (fiscal years) during my...


Shelter costs put state budget at "breaking point"
03-26-2024 4:31 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

BOSTON — As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Aaron Michlewitz sits in the catbird seat of budget and policy development on Beacon Hill.The Boston Democrat offered a glimpse Monday afternoon at the various balls he is trying to keep...


Royalston sewer costs to decrease in proposed budget
03-12-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – The budget for the town’s sewer department may see a modest 4.8 percent reduction in the next fiscal year.The Selectboard last week recommended a spending package for the department of $95,364, a reduction of just over $4,800 from the...


Athol fire, police capital requests get the green light
03-07-2024 4:54 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – The town’s Capital Program Committee last Thursday managed to trim departmental requests for just over $1.6 million in capital expenditures down to $824,000—the amount available in the FY25 capital budget.The Police Department got everything...


Savings help avoid Royalston sewer budget increase
02-19-2024 3:50 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – Due a number of cost reductions and savings, it appears that the town’s sewer spending won’t see any significant increases in next fiscal year’s budget.Selectboard Chair Rick Martin – the board also acts as the town’s Sewer Commission –...


Royalston calls Special Town Meeting to settle $50,000 debt
02-15-2024 5:01 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON – A Special Town Meeting has been scheduled to settle several outstanding debts among various town departments.Set for Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. at Royalston Town Hall, the warrant consists of a single article which asks voters “to raise...


Healey budget raises state spending by $2.1 billion — most of that from surtax
01-25-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — The Healey administration wants to tap new revenue sources and keep spending growth somewhat constrained in a $58.15 billion state budget that officials pitched as putting Massachusetts on a “glide path” toward potentially better financial...


Governor signs $3.1 billion spending bill following weeks of debate
12-05-2023 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON – After weeks of delays, a $3.1 billion spending bill packed with money for the stretched-thin emergency shelter system and public worker raises landed on Gov. Maura Healey’s desk Monday and was immediately signed.House Democrats were able to...


Voters asked whether to support $135,000 in capital purchases
08-21-2023 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON — Two capital purchases that received a near-unanimous vote at the June Town Meeting will go before voters for a final approval in a few weeks.A Special Town Election has been set for Tuesday, Sept. 12, asking voters to approve a Proposition...


Pharmacist-prescribed birth control OK’d in state budget
08-13-2023 5:00 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

NORTHAMPTON — Registered pharmacists in Massachusetts can now prescribe hormonal birth control under a bill passed in the state budget this week.The legislation, “An Act Relative to Hormonal Contraceptives,” which is co-sponsored by state Rep. Lindsay...


Mass state budget not yet in place
07-05-2023 3:32 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Five days into the new fiscal year, Massachusetts is one of six states without a full-year budget in place for fiscal 2024 and one of just three yet to have even put a finalized budget bill before the governor for review.Massachusetts, Michigan, North...

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