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May 17 Town Meeting to consider 2024-25 budget

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KENT—Voters will be asked to accept or reject a $15,699,245 spending plan for the 2024-25 fiscal year during the annual town budget meeting Friday, May 17 at 7 p.m.at Town Hall, 41 Kent Green Blvd.

Voters also will be asked to authorize the transfer of sufficient funds from the Reserve Fund to pay for capital and non-recurring projects approved for the Five-Year Capital Fund.

Town Hall doors will open at 6 p.m. to verify voter eligibility by the Registrars of Voters. Eligible voters are registered electors and U.S. citizens aged 18 and older who pay $1,000 or more in taxes to the town. Businesses and persons acting as trustees of a trust owning property in the town are not eligible.

Town officials realized after the large turnout at the affordable housing town meeting that a different method of verifying voter qualifications was needed. It was decided to extend the timeframe for checking in voters and to move the building’s access to the front door, with handicap access at the side of the building. 

This will help alleviate noise or disruption of activities in the large meeting room if voters arrive after the meeting has started. Townspeople are asked to use the first-floor restrooms before entering the meeting room and voters that have been cleared are asked to remain in the room. Beverage containers can be carried into the room, but food should be consumed before entering. 

The budget is not the only item on the meeting’s call. Townspeople will also consider a resolution amending the Kent Streetscape Improvement resolutions to allow town officials the option of using town funds instead of bonds. The Board of Finance would like to take the $257,142 annual cost out of the undesignated fund (commonly known as surplus) for the next seven years. 

Additionally, townspeople will be asked to create a new, $20,792, capital project called Hazardous Tree Removal or Trimming for non-utility related hazardous branches and trees on town property or withing a municipal right-of-way. The funds will be reimbursed through a state Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP) grant.

Another item on the agenda calls for increasing the capital project line for air conditioning, parking lot, generator and boiler upgrades at Town Hall by $41,425, also to be reimbursed by a state LoCIP.

Two other items, standard “housekeeping” measures, would authorize the Selectmen and the Board of Education to apply for and expend grants for the use of the town.

Kathryn Boughton
Written By

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