Monterey Town Meeting Recap
MONTEREY — They approved the budget, amended a few things, had a hearty debate and decided to keep the marijuana entrepreneurs at bay for up to one year.
The Berkshire Eagle reports they also said they would raise money to fix an important bridge, and allow dogs on all town property except the beach, as long as their owners pick up after them.
On a sunny Saturday morning, roughly 56 voters said yes to the town's $4.5 million budget, which includes $1.6 million in costs for its share of the Southern Berkshire Regional School District.
One line item that sparked the most questioning: whether to keep $35,000 in the budget in case a part-time town administrator should be hired. That's right — the town doesn't have one, after Willie Morales filled the post and left three months later at the end of February.
Town officials said they had worked hard to straighten out finances, and that right now, an administrator was not needed.
In addition, the town does need money to fix the Curtis Road Bridge, a critical span for town highway and Gould Farm trucks. Voters approved raising $130,000 for this and appropriating $90,000 for the total $269,000 cost.
Then there was the matter of what to do about those marijuana entrepreneurs knocking on Monterey's door. With growing and processing as well as retail sales legal on July 1, voters said they wanted to hold them off for at least six months, and up to one year if needed, until the town can decide how it wants to regulate such an industry, or ban it altogether.
They agreed to a moratorium from July 1 to Dec. 31, and if needed, for another six months after that to July 1, 2019.