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March 19. 2013 7:49PM

Rindge left in limbo after votes rescind budgets

RINDGE - Confusing town meeting results have left the town without an operating budget.

"I think we're kind of in limbo right now," said Town Administrator Carlotta Pini.

At the town meeting last week, voters approved an 18-month budget 558-381, but also voted to rescind last year's vote to transition to a fiscal year budget from a calendar year budget.

A proposed bond article for $1.5 million to soften the tax burden caused by the onetime 18-month budget necessary for shifting the budget failed 538-411.

"It's hard to know what the intention of the voters was," she said.

Pini said she plans to ask the select board tonight to petition Cheshire County Superior Court for a special town meeting to approve a 12-month budget for 2013.

If the court approves the petition, the town would work through a budget process then hold the special town meeting, which is likely several months away, Pini said.

Until then, the town would be operating without a budget, she said.

"The voters approved an 18-month budget, but the whole reason we put forth an 18-month budget is to change to a fiscal year budget, but voters rescinded the conversation. So we're really in no man's land," Pini said.

In January, board members apologized for giving residents no other option other than an 18-month budget this year, since many were under the impression if the 18-month budget was not approved the default budget would be a 12-month budget.

However, because voters approved the conversion to a fiscal year budget in 2012, the default budget would be an 18-month budget based on the 2012 numbers.

To give voters an option, the board placed the article to rescind the conversion at the last minute.

mpierce@newstote.com


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