SWAMPSCOTT – After a long series of discussions and collaborations between the Finance Committee and Select Board over the weeks, the Special Town Meeting Warrants were drafted to their final version. The special warrants have finally come to a conclusion at the annual Town Meeting, with all articles being approved.
Two articles were discussed more than others during the special town meeting, which was articles 2 and 4.
Article 2 is about the money used from free cash for the FY 23 tax rate adjustment. It was drafted and explained by the Town Assessor Richard Simmons. This is a recurring article that members decide on every year. The only difference this year is the addition of the school and the debt that would come from building it. The debt will only have an impact on this year’s budget.
The plan is to use $1.25 million from Free Cash, $1 million from the general stabilization reserve, and $320,000 from the capital stabilization reserves to adjust the tax rate.
The majority of the town meeting members passed the plan.
The Finance Committee favored Article 4, which requires $250,000 from free cash to the Compensated Absences Reserve Fund. This article will establish the reserve fund to pay end-of-employment costs associated with retirement.
Some members questioned the subjects that can receive these retirement benefits. These benefits are limited among town officers for now, and school employees are not included.
An opposite voice suggested postponing the decision until the superintendent can step in and join the plan since the school department is the largest employer in the town.
The town hopes to work with the school district about school employees’ retirement benefits.
All 10 articles were approved by a majority vote, details of the warrants can be found on the town’s website.