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Warrant Ready for Wenham Town Meeting

The 17 articles on Wenham's Annual Town Meeting warrant were finalized on Tuesday night.

The 2011 warrant is finalized and ready to go to voters after Tuesday night’s Board of Selectmen vote.

The selectmen approved the 17 article warrant, including Article 1, which is to elect positions ranging from the Board of Selectmen and Town Clerk to Tree Warden and Library Trustee from 8 a.m. to noon on May 7. The Town Meeting starts at 1 p.m. at .

Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren said the complete warrant would be posted to the town’s website by the end of the day on Wednesday. The warrant will go to the printer next Tuesday, he said.

In addition to voting on the town budget (Article 2), voters will be also asked if they want to restore $35,000 in funding for curbside loose leaf pickup and whether they will approve spending $160,000 for the purchase of a trackless machine for the , among other decisions.

The three-member Board of Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously voted to support the budget, which will be finalized by the Finance Committee on Wednesday night.

Funding for loose-leaf pickup was removed from the budget. – which has the support of the Finance Committee and Board of Selectmen – residents will either have the option of putting leaves out curbside in bags for collection as a standard town service or paying $150 for loose-leaf pickup.

Selectmen chose to have the change placed as a separate article on the Town Meeting warrant to make them aware of the move and give them a chance to make the specific decision about whether they want to OK the change.

“It gives the town the chance to veto the fee and restore the funding,” Moderator Paul Weaver said about Article 9.

The $35,000 cost would be added to the budget if the voters wish the service to remain. If feeless loose-leave pickup is eliminated, the Department of Public Works would use that money to better prepare for winter, including repairing roads and clearing drainage ditches and culverts.

Several articles that had been proposed earlier this spring for inclusion on the warrant were removed before the final warrant was approved. A proposal for a new bylaw that would make it illegal to possess a knife with a blade longer than 2-1/2 inches was removed, as were articles that would have proposed expanding the town clerk position from a one year to a three year term and a proposal to ratify a job description for the town administrator.

But voters will also have a say on proposed for the car barn lot in the center of town in two separate articles.

The asks voters to have a say on whether they want to continue as part of the proposed emergency dispatch center in the works to be built in Middleton or stay in the Hamilton-Wenham Emergency Center.

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