Financial matters to be decided at Royalston Town Meeting

  • Royalston Town Hall. Staff Photo/Greg Vine

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 6/8/2023 5:01:38 PM
Modified: 6/8/2023 5:01:40 PM

ROYALSTON – At this Saturday’s Annual Town Meeting, voters will determine whether funding for a number of different purposes gets approved.

Town Meeting takes place on Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m. in the second-floor auditorium at Town Hall, 13 On the Common. A total of 22 articles make up the warrant.

Article 15 seeks approval for a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion allowing the town to borrow $196,000 to pay for several items for the police and public works departments. The Police Department is seeking $61,000 for the purchase of a hybrid cruiser, while the DPW wants $55,000 for a hydraulic heavy-duty lift system for the town garage, as well as $80,000 for a vibratory roller and trailer with dust control. Vibratory rollers are used to compact newly-applied asphalt to road surfaces.

If the article passes at Town Meeting, a special election would be held so voters can decide on the borrowing plan in the form of a ballot question.

Town officials are also asking for approval to raise and appropriate $38,600 to cover the first payment of a $310,000 debt exclusion approved at last year’s Town Meeting for a pickup truck and a dump/sander cab and chassis for the DPW, as well as funds for painting and repairs to Whitney Hall.

Article 9 seeks approval to raise and appropriate approximately $49,000 to make the eighth payment of a 35-year loan for the town’s wastewater treatment plant. The following article asks voter approval to raise and appropriate just over $100,000 for operation of Royalston’s wastewater treatment plant and sewer system.

The FY24 town budget of nearly $2.7 million being presented to voters represents an increase of about $110,000 over the current fiscal year. Of the total, $723,000 is committed to Royalston’s assessment for the Athol Royalston Regional School District, with nearly $77,000 for its assessment for the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School District. While the Monty Tech assessment is about $19,000 higher due to increased enrollment from Royalston to the Fitchburg school, the town’s assessment for the ARRSD tops the FY23 figure by only $2,600.

The line items for wages in both the police and fire departments show increases over FY23 - $11,000 and $3,500, respectively – and voters will notice a decrease of nearly $20,000 in public works salaries. This is due to the fact that town officials have decided to reduce the DPW workforce by one position.

Greg Vine can be reached at

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