norton town hall building file photo

Norton Town Hall.

NORTON — Residents face several key decisions, many financial, at Monday’s fall and special town meetings.

The fall town meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Norton High School, 66 West Main St. (Route 123), with the special town meeting slated for 7:30 p.m. in the same place.

At the first meeting, residents will be asked to allocate over $1.1 million for building and equipment items.

Local schools would receive nearly $350,000 for technology and vehicles/equipment. A new fire department ambulance would cost about $370,000.

Voters will also be asked to transfer $660,184 from surplus funds to supplement this fiscal year’s budget, which began July 1. Of that sum, the schools are earmarked for $305,000, the police department would get $120,000 for salaries, and the fire department nearly $100,000.

Another hefty request is for $455,000 to replace the town’s street lights with more energy efficient LED lights that town officials say will save money in the long run.

Also, $522,000 is sought to demolish buildings off Cross Street that had belonged to the former Reed & Barton business and have been declared a hazard. The town is seeking grant money to help fund the expense.

The site had been considered for a new town hall and community center/senior center, but more contamination issues than expected cropped up.

At the special town meeting, residents will asked to allocate $140,000 to study sites and conduct further planning for those buildings.

Voters will also be asked to approve switching town elections from Tuesdays to Saturdays to boost turnout.

And selectmen would be referred to as select board members if a bylaw is approved. Other area towns, including Mansfield, have gone that route to recognize gender equality.

Also, the planning board is looking for approval of a handful of zoning bylaw changes.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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