Lisbon says goodbye to 200 years of meetings

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LISBON – A Lisbon tradition, which began March 17, 1800 when the first town meeting was called to order, became history at 10:35 p.m. Monday when Moderator J. Michael Huston wielded his gavel for the last time ending the 2006 annual town meeting.

On July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year, the town will move to a town-council-manager form of government, a change that was approved by voters last Nov. 8.

Monday’s meeting marked the first time in years that the entire town meeting has concluded in one session.

The meeting began with a first, Police Chief David Brooks introducing his department’s new police honor guard. In full regalia, the four-member group marched down the center of the high school gymnasium for the presentation of the flags.

Members of the group are soloist Sgt. Patrick Gagnon, who sang a stirring rendition of the national anthem; Sgt. Harry Moore, patrolman Ryan McGee and School Resource Officer Darin Estes. Absent from the group was Detective Bill Tapley who is on deployment.

For the most part, the 155 voters in attendance followed Advisory Board recommendations.

The first debate came on a request that the town pay half the cost of a new ambulance, $60,900 for Lisbon Emergency, which failed on a close hand-counted vote.

Voting 62-45, it was decided to take $39,300 from surplus to purchase property at 12 Union St.

Numerous amendments were proposed when residents opposed to moving the Central Office from the old high school to the vacant Lisbon Elementary School; $10,000 was added to the commodities line and it was voted to take $75,000 of the $2,731,639 operation and maintenance budget out of surplus funds.

Several amendments were offered in an effort to halt a plan to move the Central Office to the old Lisbon Elementary building.

Total school appropriation, $11,773,440, which was up $3,334,500 but under the L.D. 1 limit; additional local funds, $1,738,205 (total school budget summary approved, $14,509,444).

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