SOUTHWICK — There were only a handful of “no” votes heard as fewer than 100 residents gathered May 21 to act on 22 articles at the Annual Town Meeting. Each was approved.

Voters agreed to 8% or 9% increases in the general government, public safety and human services sections of the fiscal year 2025 budget, compared to FY24, in part because of changes in the leadership structure and directors’ salaries in a few Town Hall departments.

In FY25, the town will implement a previous Town Meeting vote to separate the town clerk’s office from the treasurer-collector’s office. The budget, which formerly paid a $104,000 salary to a single treasurer-collector-clerk, will now have a town clerk salary of $70,808, and a treasurer-collector salary of $77,088. Before the split, there was one assistant for the single position, but taxpayers will now fund the salary for an additional assistant, which will be $57,309. There are also $35,580 in one-time costs associated with setting up a new office, such as new furniture, an alarm system and a locking storage unit.

Another office is also being split up: the vacant position of director of senior and recreational operations will become, in the FY25 budget, two positions — one director for the Council on Aging, and a separate director of parks and recreation. While a new COA director has yet to appointed, an annual salary of $54,057 was allocated for the position, up from $39,592 last year. There was also $29,808 for a new position of COA activities and benefit coordinator. The new parks and recreation director, when hired, is slated to receive $34,137.

Finance Committee Chair Joseph Deedy also pointed that incoming Chief Administrative Officer Nicole Parker’s annual salary contributed to the increase in general government. She will earn $30,724 more than former Chief Administrative Officer Karl Stinehart, who would have earned a salary of $115,950 if he had not retired this year.

The police chief will earn a $3,500 stipend as harbormaster, required in the employment contract negotiated by incoming Chief Rhett Bannish. The previous chief, Robert Landis, also served as harbormaster of Congamond Lake but did not receive the stipend. Landis said the job has become more demanding.

Other projects driving budget increases included $80,000 allocated to the Fire Department for the design of a new bunkrooms in the station. The department had requested $300,000 for the renovation project, but Deedy said given this year’s budget constraints, it was decided to move forward with the design of the project.

Altogether, the general fund budget totals $13,366,085, which represents a 4% increase from FY24.

Voters also approved a contribution of $13,539,412 to the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District budget, a 4.52% increase from FY24. The schools’ spending plan includes funds for a second school resource officer — a police officer assigned to the school campus. Deedy said the officer will be a Southwick Police Department member and the town will bill the school district for his or her services. The current school resource officer is paid fully by Southwick taxpayers.

Five articles for Community Preservation Act funds were approved. These included annual administrative costs, $69,400 for debt service on $600,000 borrowed three years ago for alum treatment of Congamond Lake, $22,659 for capital improvements at the town library, and $100,000 to help provide financial assistance, if needed, for a proposed dredging project put forth by the Lake Management Committee.

If the LMC is not successful in getting a state grant for the project, the $100,000 will be returned to the Community Preservation Committee’s general fund.

CPC projects are funded by a surtax on local property taxes and by state matching grants. They can only be spent on affordable housing, land conservation, recreation or historical preservation projects.