SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 4, 2014

Housing, pool go before Hamilton Town Meeting

By John Castelluccio
Staff Writer

---- — HAMILTON — Town voters will be asked to approve a new budget of $26.6 million Saturday at the Annual Town Meeting, along with several other spending requests and plans for the Patton Homestead and the Patton Park pool.

The warrant article for the Patton Homestead at 650 Asbury St. seeks to authorize the Board of Selectmen to sell, develop or restrict the four-acre property for the purpose of building 12 “moderately priced” homes. The article requires a two-thirds majority vote.

The warrant also includes an article on the Patton Park pool, asking voters to consider setting aside available funds or borrowing to pay for reconstructing the pool. The expected request is $2.1 million, according to the warrant article.

A proposed equipment expense of $550,000 is for new town telephone equipment and vehicles for the Department of Public Works, police and fire departments. That includes replacing two plow trucks, a dump truck and pickup used for plowing, a pickup truck for the Fire Department, a police cruiser and the lease of an unmarked cruiser.

Voters will be asked to approve water and waste reduction enterprise budgets, along with spending $436,000 in community preservation funds that includes renovating and ensuring handicap accessibility of the bathrooms at the senior center, rehabilitating the American Legion Post building, preserving town records and digitizing some historical society material.

There’s also a citizen’s petition that seeks to use free cash to construct a 2.5-mile unpaved recreational trail along Essex Street from the intersection with Sagamore Street to the Wenham town line.

Both Hamilton and Wenham voters will consider Saturday whether to reduce the size of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee from nine to seven members. The school board is also turning back unspent funds to the town, there’s a request to use $1.43 million in free cash to reduce the tax burden on homeowners, and voters will review an amended compensation and classification schedule for town employees.

Hamilton Town Meeting is 9 a.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School. The full warrant is available online at www.hamiltonma.gov.

You can reach John Castelluccio at 978-338-2527, jcastelluccio@salemnews.com or via Twitter at @SNjcastelluccio.