Early on, Pokress asked officials if they were aware how much of the town’s $14 million in public safety personnel services— salaries and benefits for the police and fire departments — were paying out to retirement benefits.
Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski said he didn’t know how much the town was appropriating for it within that $14 million portion of the $144.9 million budget. However, other officials defended the town’s handling of post-retirement costs.
The town’s total budget passed through 11 separate votes, the final vote approved $34 million to fixed cost expenses, with $13 million of that allocated to debt service, $14 million to a health insurance fund and the remainder to several other line items.
Landry moved to reduce that $14 million health insurance fund appropriation down to $12.9 million, as he presented methods the town could use to save money on its health insurance costs.
The amendment, unpopular among town officials, failed in a 153 to 239 vote. Residents then voted to support the final portion of the budget.
CLOSE VOTES FOR DOHERTY WORK, AMBULANCE
The final vote of the night was in article 25, aimed at raising $245,000 for a new fire rescue ambulance. The article passed by a mere six votes, 109-103.
However, an even narrower vote approved a $2.5 million proposal to renovate paved areas around Doherty Middle School. With two thirds of the vote needed, the article got 231 yays and 110 nays, with 227 votes needed to pass.
RESIDENTS REJECT PROPOSALS
Voters also rejected two articles: one to spend $500,000 on renovating the Ballardvale Fire Station proposed by ex-Town Manager Richard Bowen, and another to increase the town’s cost-of-living adjustment for retirees from $12,000 a year to $14,000 a year.
The Ballardvale Fire Station article failed 162 to 203 votes.
NIGHT ONE RESULTS :A1: Election results. NO VOTE A2: Election not required by ballot. PASSED A3: Salaries of elected officials. PASSED A4: Budget. PASSED after 11 votes A5: Capital projects. PASSED A6: Budget transfers. PASSED A7: Supplemental budget appropriations. PASSED A8: Stabilization fund. PASSED A9: Free cash. WITHDRAWN A10: Unexpended appropriation WITHDRAWN A11: Housekeeping articles. PASSED after two votes A12: Granting easements. PASSED A13: Unpaid bills. PASSED A14: Chapter 90 authorizations. PASSED A15: Revolving accounts. PASSED A16: Youth Center land transfer. PASSED A17: Ballardvale Fire Station renovation. FAILED A18: Doherty Middle School site work: PASSED A19: Support for civic events. PASSED A20: Elderly and disabled transportation program. PASSED A21: Jerry Silverman fireworks. PASSED A22: Deyermond Sports Complex monument (Amended from $25,000 to $20,000). PASSED A23: Retiree COLA increase. FAILED A24: DPW vehicles. PASSED A25: Fire rescue ambulance: PASSED NIGHT TWO RESULTS :A26: Senior Residential Community Overlay, regulations. PASSED A27: Senior Residential Community Overlay, zoning map.PASSED A28: Town building and facility maintenance. PASSED A29: Greater Lawrence Tech HVAC renovation. PASSED A30: Andover Transit Oriented Development District, regulations. FAILED A31: Andover Transit Oriented Development District, zoning map. WITHDRAWN A32: High school tennis courts. PASSED A33: Chandler Road land acquisition.PASSED A34: Town playground replacements. WITHDRAWN A35: School facility space needs study. PASSED A36: School building maintenance. PASSED A37: Computer and laptop replacement program. PASSED A38: West Middle School heating system. PASSED SPECIAL TOWN MEETING RESULTS :A1: Elder Services stabilization fund. PASSED A2: Youth Center appropriation. PASSED