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Fitchburg Sentinel (Newspaper) - January 26, 1966, Fitchburg, Massachusetts Publiihing The Newt For 127 Yean ESTB. 1838 Vol. CXXVII THE WEATHER Cold SEE REPORT ON PAGE 2 FITCHBURG, MASS., 01420 1966 34 PAGES 42 Cents A Week Delivered By Cairier 10 CENTS SOAR-CER Ten-year-old Maribeth Grant soars through the air on her flying saucer on a Racine. hill. She was one of thousands of children taking advantage'of Wisconsin's deep snow cover. (AP Wirephoto) Budget Problems Confronting City It's crystal ball time aroundlmitled a budget for 1966 which is City Hall these days as. city exactly the same as 1965. ficials approach the 1966 mlinici-j. Evenso, there are bound to be pal budget with a combination of misgivings and .forlorn hope normal; cbst-of-living increases across the board affecthig misgivings that the tax rate in-virtually every department, crease will.be distressingly. These could add up to about to large, and with forlorn hope that! (he tax rate. sometime before March the State Legislature will step in and ease the strain. Mayor George J. Bourque, still Thus; with School Department and other, city expenses figured together, the likely addition to the rate will .be around But organizing the start of his fourthjthis is only the beginning, term in office, has as yet had no! The rub comes when the time to examine the budget re- quests of air city departments. In fact, the expense estimates of at least one department the Buildings' Department were slate's role is figured. The state already owes Fitch- burg for welfare and veterans benefits paid out in 1965. The city'has had to borrow not yet ready as of Tuesday, jsome money to make up for With a Feb. 17 deadline the state owes. .him the expects to devote this weekend to tackling the 1966 municipal budget and, without No one in official Fitchburg knows when or how the state intends to pay off this debt. .looking at the "figures he fore-! has the State Legislature cast today that unless some to- enacted a revenue .program of tally .unexpected windfall occurs, the tax rate boost will, be some- where between and S8. This would raise the .rate, from the S93.20 figure of 1965 to S100 orjlocations. any enduring kind so that cities like Fitchburg can only specu-. late on what they might obtain in 1966 through various stale al- more.in 1966. .The problems arc these: The School Committee has re- commended a -budget of If the state patlern continues, jthc city is-due for another shock. In 1965. "cherry sheet" esti- mates of funds due the city from about trend con- million or about more 'he state fell off by al than in'1965. Of this S215.000 H this downward crease about is repre--''.nues, entirely new pressures sented' in increased salaries, knowing no bounds will be This represents about on 'he tax rale. tax rale-and il is very unlikely! -The mayor figures that Ihe that any reductions will he made Date's debt to the city and other obligations, not yet met. will add Ihe School Committee. Neither the mayor nor City Council can cut school expenses. Salary raises granted in 1965 to city workers will cost .a" total] another to the tax rate. That would bring the total tax rate in- crease to "And we have no way of con- S80.000 more this year. This trolling the state's is slightly more than on the 'he mayor said. tax rate. There also is little likelihood While most city the. city's total assessed have filed their btnteet estimates valuation will climb enough to with the mayor tffere is any increased revenue little evidence .of any materially .reduce increases in their cost estimates I'he tax rate boost. Even the large Public Works, The cityVtotal assessed val- Department one of the both real and personal biggesl spenders has sub- BUDGET, Page 2 Chicken New Quiz Which conies first? The fed- eral chicken or the federal egg? The City Council wasn't en- gaging in a philosophical ques- :ipn-and-answer game Tuesday only trying to cut its way through the fog of misun- derstanding that swirls around federal aid for city projects. It all started when the Pub- lic Works Committee, headed by Councilor Joseph Albert, rec- ommended that the council 'take action" on a communi; cation related to Public Law 560. In other words, the coun- cil is asked to enforce an ap- plication for federal aid for sewerage extensions, water sys- tem improvements and sewage treatment plant rehabilitation. City Councilor C. Warren Smith addressed himself quiet- ly to Councilor Albert. "What action do you expect us to he asked. Councilor Albert smiled and rummaged through a large fold- er on his desk. He read from letters and other documents to attest that, the federal govern- ment, through the Urban Re- newal and Development Act of 1965, may grant up to 50 per cent of the sewerage, water and sewage treatment plant improvements. Councilor Smith then remind- ed Ills colleagues that the coun- cil had met informally with Mayor George J. Bourque and had agreed to endorse any reso- lution for actual construction funds but not for "outright grants" for planning and con- sultation. "In other said Smith, "we shouldn't be patsies giving put consultant jobs to people all over the state when we have the licensed and qualified engi- neers right here to do that job." Albert then recalled a. letter from Richard Greeley of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health which presumably advised the city that .'the state would not approve any federal funds for sewerage improve- ments until the sewage treat- ment plant off Falulah Road is extensively repaired and im- Rupresentatives of a group of as taxpayers scheduled a confer- encc with an attorney this after, noon preparatory to a possible suit against the city to institute revaluation of all property.here to 100 per cent market value. Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence J. Fortin of 116 Mt. Vernon St. said proved. U. S. FUNDS. Page 2 Taxpayers Suit Looms On Revaluation Issue "good news." On two sep- arate occasions in 1965. the three-member board of asses- sors expressed unanimous ap proval of revaluation and urged the city to move quickly. Mrs. Fortm said this morning that one of the reasons why the taxpayers' group is considering they hoped to arrange a meeting going immediately into a tax- this afternoon with Atty. Johnjpyers' suit is that delay m af- G. Lemay, former City Council president.1 to seek counsel on what steps to take in their plan. Originally, they had planned to petition the City Council for reconsideration of a proposal killed by Mayor George J. Bourque late last year when he refused to sign a contract with a professional ap- praisal firm. More than 10 signatures have been obtained on the petition, it was learned, indicating that the fecting revaluation would make it difficult for the city to hire competent professional apprais- al firms. "Some people feel we should wait until we arc forced into Mrs. Fortin said, i f t V.VI41 3G 111 II11S VILJ statutory requirement of 10 tax- Mayor- Bourque payers to institute a suit has' -M. been met. However, the group of taxpay- ers is reconsidering the petition that a petition to the City Council would take con- lime and probably would .result in the move again being killed by the mayor. The Massachusetts .Supreme Court, in three.separate cases, has declared the present "ratio" system of assessment unconsti- tutional and state officials. say that all communities in the state sooner or later will be forced into is, bring- ing all property up to 100 per cent market value. Under the present system of assessment, property is valued for tax purposes at about 50 per cent of its market value. In oth- er words, a home which would sell on the open market for would be evaluated for tax purposes at about Thus, the homeowner in 1965 aid on each of as- paid on each of as-. John A. Kearns, chairman of the board of assessors, when told this morning of the pos ble taxpayers' suit, described we don't agree with this t of view because the de. maild at thai time would be so great it would be difficult to ob- tain the best .appraisal firms." The subject of revaluation careened along on a strange course in this city last year. in his 196! imid-lerm address, declarec himself flatly in favor of re valualion and predicted that the tax rate would be cut once it was accomplished. The mayor later initiated an order with the City Council for to pay one-third of the cost of revaluation by an Ohio professional appraisal firm. The City .Council approved the money order but four councilor's objected. They were Hedley Bray, Anthony Nigro, Joseph Al- bert and Emiie J. Goguen. The four candidates circulated REVALUATION, Page 2 WELCOME TO A SKID The Leominsler city line ends at that sign on the right on South St. And the dry road ends right there, too. Beyond is Fitchburg, where the motor- ist finds himself traveling in a world of perilous contrast. The Leominster section of the road is dry. .Some of Leominster's fortunately, is carried on tires along the right hand lane for a few hundred yards. But the left lane (as you look at it in this picture) still snow and ice-covered. A grader. smoothed twisting Tuesday night. ruts along this stretch New Rift: Plow Vs. Plow It'll be plow vs. plow in Fitch- burg pretty soon and if you have a little plow of your own, you'd better be. careful. The Public Works Depart- ment was under a bit of. fire this morning from motorists, who traveled by motorists who drive I people do put the snow some-j n d unfavorable compari- son between Leominster's' between Fitchburg and Leomin- ster via the South Side. It's a.very narrow street. Mr. Kirisey 40 it is crowded with houses and driveways. And that's where Thaf Debbil Flu Bug if it between the Absenteeism on Tuesday in to hit the key .public schools throughout Fitchburg. showed that more pupils are out of school today than three .weeks ago, but there is by no means an epidemic of influenza in the city. Average absenteeism is usual- ly about 10 per cent of the stu.- dent population, and present fig- ures indicate that slightly.more than that are absent in the in- dicator schools. St.-all yoii travel on' two cities. As of Tuesday night and this mci-i first- hlacp the com- a storm as large as Sunday's. Then when the Public Works area takes about'jmorninS. motorist? said' the three days to incubate before1 actually affecting s.omeone. It is not limited to spreading main: ly through children, say oi- 1 section of road from Leomin- ster's downtown district to the Fitchburg line is dry and in relatively good condition con- sidering the magnitude of Sun- ficials, but. may be viral particles are airborne The rate of absenteeism in the following six schools, mentioned because of their diverse loca- But from the end of the Leom- inster line into Fitchburg (South St. that is) it's a different mat- ter. The road was rutted and slippery Tuesday night and this morning still contained gener- climbed .from below average to more than 10 perjous coatings of. jce. cent in the past three weeks. ln-i 1 councilor Joseph Al- An unidentified strain of are it can be expected to climb higher as the virus fluenza, called in recent years Asian Flu, has been sweeping through school systems along the south .latest re- ports are that the sickness, is creeping westward toward this area. Dr. Albert A. DesChencs, chairman of the board of health, today said no indications "of alarming absenteeism h a v e ment; 32 absent come.to his attention, either as a physician or as a board mem- ber. The particular type of flu apt bert telephoned the Highway Division this morning and asked them to check on the condition of South St. Public .Works Com. M. Kinsey and Highway Raymond J. Benoit were, spreads. Today's lineup: Fitchburg. High School: enrollment; 174 absent. _____ B. F. Brown: 684 rat0 the matter..too, 89 absent. .._... Crocker 723 en- rollment; 80 absent. Mary Markham: 286 cnroll- Mr. Kinsey, observing that Fitchburg's streets are in pretty good condition .compared to some other years, acknowledged ithat there is a problem and he Soulh Fitchburg: 322 to do something .about ment; 39 absent. Goodrich St.; 232 enrollment; 31 absent.. A case in point is Pine St.. he said. This artery is heavily Charged With Threat To Sabotage 2 Athol Men Held in Extortion Plot BOSTON (AP) Babbitt, 25, wrote the rail- men have been charged with and said: "If we are forced tempting to extort fromjto kill or injure any em- the Boston Maine Railroadlploycs it will hang on your ne- glecting to respond to our warn- under threat of sabotage. The FBI charged that Albert Dupray, 26. and Caleb! The two men were Tuesday before U, S. Commis-i sance and reports of refugees. These reports indicated that Hanoi has used the 34-day pause in the bombings to rebuild roads and bridges, and increase the flow of supplies and perhaps armed troops to Viet Cong guerrillas in Soulh Viet Nam. Earlier, in a series of mes- Babbitt. claimed he could notidungarecs and cowboy boots and sages to forcjgn .governments, have place; other people shove And if that isn't problem itjenough. there's additional com- plications. More and more J UllUdllUllO. WilVl J11U.L1. right back into the road again. are buying motor. "and we're having this prob- lem in many areas of the Mr. Kinsey said. Private contractors who plow out driveways are pushing the snow back into the public streets. Kinsey said, and there's a city ordinance prohibiting that sort of thing. "We..may have to take some he said. ized snow blowers. "They're pretty powerful little machines." Kinsey said, they're blowing the .snow right back into the The commissioner added: "We may have to take some action, on this, too. That, city ordinance clearly prohibits plac-. ing any obstruction in a road." Resumption Hinted- Bombing To Start? WASHINGTON Presi-( reported Johnson had asked the dent Johnson has made newjcongressional leaders to "re- gard the information divulged as confidential." Vice President Hubert H. (Humphrey was on hand, along moves on diplomatic and politi- cal fronts amid mounting indi- cations of a possible early re- sumption of- the bombing of North Viet Nam targets. The political.move came Secretary of'Stale Dean dusk Tuesday night when the President summoned 20 con- gressional leaders from both parties to meet with him and key members of the National Security Council to discuss Viet Nam and other -matters. One source reported the meeting was not called as a result of any emergency development. Part of the session was devoted to a presentation of evidence from aerial reconnais- Kusk and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. Also altending were Gen. Earle G. Wheeler, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Wil- liam F. Raborn, director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, former, ambassador to Saigon who now is a presidential consultant on Viet Nam; and roving Ambas- sador W. Averell Harriman, just sioner Francis H, Farrell.Neith-jafford a lawyer, and W. Lang-joccasionally twisted his er man entered a plea, and Far-jdon Powers of Boston was cap in his hands. rell continued the cases to Jan. wool Johnson had acted to clear the way diplomatically for a rc- Today's Index Almanac............... 2 Bridge................., 16 Classified 17-18-19 Comics 16 Crossword............... 16 .back from. an. overseas peace mission. The congressional delegation included most of the top Demo- cratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and House as well as the chairmen and ranking members of such committees as Foreign Relations, Armed Serv- ices and Appropriations. These were spine .of of evidence, mostly photogra- phic, being weighed by the ad- ministration as it considered a resumption of bombings: More than 200 trucks were photographed in daylight in the southern area of North Viet Nam between Dec. 31 and Jan. 13.. Most of the trucks were seen on routes 1A and 15 the latter moving toward Pass, a gateway to the Laos infiltration corridor. On Jan. 1, a number of trucks were photographed just inside North Viet Nam's border with Laos and others were seen at a rest and refueling area just north of the Mugia Pass. Refugees on the Laos side 28. Both men arc charged with! HELD IN EXTORTION PLOT Caleb J. Babbitt, 25, left, of Athol pointed to represent him. He joked and laughed with seemed at c; duringlFBI agents before the commis- arraignedjconspiracy to extort, and hearing. He was dressed inlsioner entered.the hearing room was set at for each, Du- pray also is charged with using the mails to extort. Additional bail of was .set on that charge. The FBI said Dupray mailed a typewritten, unsigned letter to the Dec. 20 demanding in small bills "or we will, slow up or stop transporta- tion on certain runs throughout New England." The FBI said that in arresting Dupray agents recovered 75 sticks of dynamite which had been reported stolen last No- vember from the Athol water Department. The letter did not specify how the sabotage wbuld be accomp- lished and did not mention dy- namite. The letter 'irgcd the BtJI, officials to "stop and think of the damage that can be done before you or the govern- ment can put a stop to the FBI said. They said Dupray mailed the threatening letter to the from Brattlcboro, Vt., and that a scries of telephone threats was made to the railroad. The FBI said the railroad made no payments. Dupray is a machine oiicrator. Babbitt is a service station man- ager. Each man is married and EXTORTION PLOT ACCOMPLICE the father of four children. DonaM A. Dupray, left, also of Athol sumption of the bombings if and when he decides that is neces- jsary. Announcement of Tuesday night's White House meeting ivas not made until the session was under way. White House press secretary Bill D. Moyers Editorial 6 I of 'he border reported counting trucks going south between Movics Dec. 27 and Jan 14. Obituaries...............17 i One report being considered Personals.................2 the capital suggests that as imany as infiltrators may I have moved into South Viet northernmost Quang Tri Province on Christmas Day alone. Sports 10-11 Television 16 Through The Years 6 Family Page 32-33 Cost Of School Milk May Be Hiked In City Fitchburg school children could pay up to per month more for their half pints of milk during the next school year, that is, if Presi- dent Johnson has his way and only needy children are allow- ed lo buy milk at reduced cost. If the section of Johnson's fiscal 1966-67 budget dealing with the Department of Agri- culture is approved as is by congress, only million of the million set aside for the country's milk program will be distributed. Locally, the city is reim- bursed three cents on each boltlc of milk, for which, in- cidcntaly. it pays dealers 5.9 cents per half pint. More than bottles are purchased monthly by public school .children who pay only three cents. Since relatively few of the thousands of young- sters here are termed needy, most of them could end up paying six ccnls per half pint come September, or more per month: During the current, 1965- 66 fiscal year, federal milk program subsidies to the. stale million. Though the com- monwealth pays five per cent of this amount, it will have to pay 10 per cent after Tues- day, Feb. 1. The state director of the of- fice of school lunch programs has termed this possible cut as "drastic" and "not in keep- ing with the President's in his State of the Union message to continue his Great Society programs." The director, John C. Stalk- er, said the proposed cut would "penalize the school who are now able to buy milk at a reduced cost. Though the average cost of school lunches throughout the state is 25 cents, some school ofifcials are thinking of raising the rates. if this measure is approved by con- gress. In Fitchburg, only three schools Fitchburg B. F. Brown and Crocker have full lunch programs. Pupils at B. F. Brown and Crocker pay 25 cents, but those at FIIS, who get more pay more: 30 cents. No word has been heard about raisjng any lunch prices locally.
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