NORTH READING — Voters attending October Town Meeting will be treated to a lightweight warrant with potentially only 13 warrant articles.

The warrant for the Monday, Oct. 3 fall affair officially closed at the end of the business day this past Monday, Aug. 15 without any citizens’ petitions being submitted, according to Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto. He said that the Select Board has the option to add any necessary articles to the warrant up until the date it is signed by them, which is anticipated to be at their meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 7 (which is being held two days later than usual due to the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 5 and the State Primary election Sept. 6.).

Sewerage not on October warrant

The light warrant will be a welcomed reprieve for the town’s voters who will be asked to attend a Special Town Meeting later in the fall — possibly in late November or early December — to decide whether to move forward with plans currently being studied to hook up sections of town to sewerage at the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District in North Andover and to potentially fund such construction.

The Select Board promises that there will be multiple public hearings and workshops held leading up to that Special Town Meeting to explain the financing and construction options being brought forward by the consultants who have been studying the route and infrastructure for the past year.

October warrant

One of the two biggest draws on the October Town Meeting warrant is anticipated to be a request to fund a “supplemental appropriation” to continue the work of the Facilities Master Plan study committee, whose work over the past couple of years was interrupted by COVID, but they have been getting back into the field to evaluate the town’s building infrastructure and make recommendations on maintaining this infrastructure.

This article will lead to another potential draw — a request of about $300,000 to fund a schematic design to update the town’s out-of-date Fire Station. Opened in the mid-1960s, the Select Board members were advised of the building’s many deficiencies, including the fact that when firefighters return from a fire or other incident where they may have been exposed to chemicals, including potential carcinogens, they do not have an appropriate place to change out of their gear, store their gear, get their gear into the extraction machine and/or get themselves into the upstairs shower room without contaminating large portions of the rest of the building. Additionally, since there is only one shower room, no appropriate facilities exist for female firefighters. If there were female firefighters on the force the shower room would be off limits to the opposite sex when being used by them and vice-versa under the current setup.

Other warrant articles include: hear and act on reports of town officers and committees; prior year bills; appropriate money to the following funds: Stabilization Fund, Capital Improvement Stabilization Fund and Participating Funding Arrangement Fund (for the town’s employee health insurance program); Amend FY23 Operating Budget; Rescind Authorizations to Borrow; Amend FY23 Capital Budget; and Appropriate money for legal expenses (Secondary School Building Litigation and 20 Elm St. Ligitation, if either is necessary).