Agenda set for Fall Town Meeting, Select Board makes recommendations

Sep 19, 2023

Dartmouth prepares for yet another Town Meeting, and with it comes a set of recommendations from the Select Board, nearly all of them positive. 

The most unusual article on the Town Meeting Warrant, or agenda, and the only article not to be recommended by the Select Board, comes from a citizen petition that aims to change the Town Bylaws to require that the Town pays at least 65% of insurance costs for Town employees. 

Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes said Town Counsel is still reviewing whether or not the article is legal or if Town Meeting can vote on it. For that reason, the Select Board provided no recommendation for the article until more information is provided. 

Currently, the town’s insurance policy requires between 40%  to 46% contribution from the employee, meaning the town contributes between 54% to 60%. The town requires 100% employee contribution for dental insurance. The petitioned article does not specify health or dental insurance as written. 

The Community Preservation Committee recommended two articles authorizing funding for two projects: renovations for the Dartmouth Cultural Center to make it handicap accessible, and the acquisition of land to protect the town’s aquifer and allow for future water drilling. Both articles were unanimously recommended by the Select Board.

A series of articles would appropriate money to stabilization funds, and another would fund capital projects from surplus revenue. Town Meeting will also vote to appropriate another portion of its opioid settlement funds, which amount to $85,000 this year. 

Another set of articles creates new public ways in Town, including Kyle Jacob Road, Magnolia Lane, Ivy Way and Sunflower Drive. 

Town Meeting will be held Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at Dartmouth High School’s auditorium.