According to Adam Gaudette, Town Administrator in Spencer, his town has been deeply impacted by the Chapter 70 requirement of fulfilling minimum local contribution requirements, by decisions of the Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for setting regional school district budgets and also by Chapter 74 obligations for municipalities to fund out-of-district vocational tuition and transportation mandates.
Those statutory requirements are negatively impacting Spencer's ability to maintain general government services, public safety, public works, health & human services and culture and recreation activities, according to Gaudette
"We have been unable to keep up with the financial burden of these education statutes and have been forced to fund in-district and out of district assessments at levels that require municipal staffing and service reductions," Gaudette
wrote in his
letter to Princeton Selectmen.
Parks and Rec programs have been eliminated, town hall is open only three days a week, library hours have been reduced with possible decertification, the town is unable to provide adequate fire department training and positions on the highway department have been eliminated, added Gaudette.
is inviting other towns experiencing the same challenges to meet in a symposium format to discuss possible solutions to maintain municipal services.