Woodstock town meeting set for March 29

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WOODSTOCK — The 2010 annual town meeting will convene at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 29, in the gymnasium at the Woodstock Elementary School on Rumford Avenue.

After opening the meeting the first order of business will be the annual municipal elections to choose a selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor, a SAD 44 school director and two trustees for the Whitman Memorial Library, all for three-year terms.

For selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor, incumbent Ronald Deegan will be seeking a second term; former selectman Steve Bies will be running for school director and Marta Clements and Jane Mills will be seeking new terms on the library board of trustees. There may be more nominations as traditionally nominations can be made from the floor of the assembly.

During the business portion of the meeting only one article is expected to prove controversial. That article asks voters to decide on a proposed six-month moratorium on wind power development in the town. The article, requested by citizen petition, is aimed at putting a temporary hold on a wind farm development planned for this summer on Spruce Mountain.

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As far as the rest of the warrant, Town Manager Vern Maxfield expects the items to be routine and cause little discussion.

In regard to budget items, it is projected that there will be an increase of $73,972 over 2009 due mostly to an expected increase in school costs for SAD 44.

“The school assessment is going to be the biggest reason behind the increase this year. As it is expected there will be significant cuts in school funding by the state. We won’t know for sure what those cuts will be until later this spring but I expect they may be significant making for a need to increase the overall school budget for 2010 and 2011,” Maxfield said.

There will, however, be $410,142 deducted from the budget total through the use of revenues and surplus funds leaving $1,739,186 to be raised through taxation.

The selectmen and Maxfield are urging townspeople to attend the meeting as it is the best time for people to make their voices heard each year.

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