Woeful North Reading Turnout Forces Officials to Improvise
The Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee and town officials devised a plan to transfer $600,000 in reserve funds to help offset money needed for special Town Meeting.
Town Meeting completed its business within an hour on Monday, but not before the session was delayed by nearly another hour because it fell well short of the quorum needed to start a special Town Meeting.
Town Meeting needed 150 voters to start the special session, which was needed to fund about $600,000 to pay for budgets amendments, funds and accounts.
Seeing that there was little chance that Town Meeting would reach the quorum, the Board of Selectmen sprung into action with the Finance Committee and town officials and devised a plan to move money around.
Town officials spent more than a half hour working on a plan that included transferring money from the town’s debt stabilization fund and the free cash account, said Town Administrator Greg Balukonis.
Plus, the selectmen temporarily moved $52,000 out of the fire department budget, but that money will move back into the budget at the October Town Meeting, town officials promised.
The move also meant the town didn’t have money during regular Town Meeting later that night to further fund certain accounts, including the Solid Waste Stabilization Fund, Stabilization Fund and Post-Employment Benefits Liability Trust Fund.