STRONG — Selectmen on Tuesday night scheduled a special town meeting to ask voters to appropriate $5,700 from surplus funds.
The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, before the regularly-scheduled selectmen’s meeting at 7 p.m.
The town garage has a new pellet boiler, a septic system and bathroom facilities. While the pellet boiler costs were covered by a grant, the pellets were not, and the bathroom and septic upgrade costs have to be addressed as well.
“We pinched pennies really close, but we’re $1,000 short,” Selectman Milt Baston said.
Another $4,700 needs to be appropriated to cover the landfill account. Part of the appropriation will cover a landfill test in December, and $60 will go to Sandy River Recycling.
The third issue for the special town meeting revolves around the proposal to have selectmen appoint, rather than elect, the town clerk.
“We have to conduct a vote on this 90 days prior to the (March) town meeting,” Chairman Rupert Pratt said. “Everything’s kind of in position, if the townspeople want to do it."
Currently, Town Clerk Lois Barker’s term expires in March, but she had decided not to run again.
Sandra Mitchell is the office manager, tax collector and treasurer, and selectmen have discussed ways to pay for an assistant who will be able to do accounting and other duties handled by Mitchell. The goal, Pratt said, is to have two people who are able to cover all office duties. Merging the town clerk’s position with the office duties will offer more hours of service for the community.
“We’ll have more available hours for the clerk’s position, and possibly, we’ll be able to keep the office open five days a week instead of four,” Pratt said.
Barker has agreed to train an assistant to conduct elections, process hunting and fishing licenses, record marriages and deaths, and all of the other record keeping required.
If voters approve changing the position to an appointment, a new employee could start training in January and the official change will take place in March. If voters do not approve, Barker will have nomination papers available for candidates before town elections in March. The process requires voters’ approval.