WAKEFIELD — Tonight’s 24-article annual Town Meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Galvin Middle School’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
In what appears to be a rather routine spring session, Town Meeting participants will vote on an $84.9 million operating budget for the year beginning July 1. The largest single appropriation is for the School Department, which has requested $34.8 million for next year. The Finance Committee has approved that 11 percent increase in spending over this year’s allocation but members emphasized school leaders can expect not to get that type of increase in the future.
In recent weeks, school administrators have gone on a publicity campaign, explaining what they plan to spend the extra money on and how this infusion of funds is vital to the future of Wakefield’s educational services.
The operating budget request comes in the first article on the Town Meeting warrant.
Other pieces of business before voters tonight include a request for nearly $2 million to deal with the town’s capital needs for the coming year; a vote on paying off about $4.2 million owed on the various capital projects the town has approved, many of which are long completed; approval of contract agreements with various town employee bargaining units; an annual request to indemnify police and firefighters hurt on the job, and a request to raise about $1.5 million so trash can be collected, disposed of, recycled or composted.