By JAMES NIEDZINSKI
---- — MANCHESTER — Voters who filled the Manchester Memorial Elementary School gym Monday night backed a proposed operating budget with a 2.1 percent spending increase, and backed the town’s allocation to both the Manchester Essex Regional School District and the newly merged North Shore Regional vo-tech school district before continuing the meeting to a second session tonight.
But two controversial bylaws – one that would grant dog owners an additional two months for walking their dogs on town beaches – were not taken up last night and will be due up tonight when the meeting reconvenes at 7, again at Memorial Elementary School. Residents and town officials made their way through the first 16 articles on the 29-article warrant.
The town’s municipal operating budget of $12,608,440 gained voters’ backing in the early going, and residents backed Manchester’s allocation of $80,335 to the newly merged regional vocational technical school program that is combining North Shore Tech and Essex Aggie in Middleton.
Residents also approved the allocation for the Manchester Essex Regional School District, voting down an amendment aimed at reducing it prior to the final vote. The approved school district budget is up by 3.26 percent — or $575,945 — compared to last year. The jump, school officials have said, is due to the increased population in the district by Manchester residents and the fact that expenditures that were previously put off. In addition, the school budget has a fairly conservative amount set aside for state funding, the report states.
For much more coverage, look also to tomorrow’s print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.
James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3455, or at email@example.com