PERU — Town officials fielded questions about the arrangement of town meeting warrant articles, the cost of ambulance service and handling tax-acquired properties at Wednesday night’s hearing on the annual warrant.

The hearing at the old elementary school was attended by 12 residents plus Selectmen Chairman Jim Pulsifer, board members Laurieann Milligan and Lee Merrill as well as Town Clerk Vera Parent.

One attendee asked why some items were grouped together under one article, to which Parent said there were two reasons.

“Residents have expressed a wish for a shorter warrant,” she said, and it took too long to count votes if each line item were a separate article. Previous warrants have had more than 50 articles and votes were not all counted until the early hours of the morning.

Peru voters have changed the selectmen’s secretary position from appointed to elected and Pulsifer provided some information about that issue.

“The pay for positions with the town are negotiated and depend on the skills and qualifications of the applicant,” Pulsifer said. “The position will be part time and will not include health insurance.”

Resident Dwana Kazregis said the town should publish the pay rate and the qualifications.

The proposed $200,000 budget for the road department is $8,170 less than the previous year. Pulsifer said the only paving project proposed is to finish resurfacing Gammon Road.

Resident Andy Freeman said he had seen a contractor hauling heavy loads over posted roads on mornings the temperature was above freezing. He asked the selectmen if they could get the contractor to help pay for repairing the road.

Pulsifer said they and the road commissioner were aware of the situation and intended to speak with the contractor.

Selectmen were questioned about the cost of Med-Care Ambulance Service based in Mexico. Kazregis asked why it cost the town so much when her insurance company was billed if she used the service.

Pulsifer said several years ago 11 towns joined together to form Med-Care as a nonprofit corporation. He serves as Peru’s representative on Med-Care’s board.

“The people want a first-class ambulance service with paramedics,” he said. “Med-Care is doing it at as reasonable cost as possible. The $18 per capita charge to the participating towns only covers 14 percent of the total cost.”

During questions about an article on tax-acquired property, resident John Witherell indicated he was not anxious to take someone’s home.

Parent assured him that it had been many years since the town had taken and sold anyone’s property. All residents whose property is currently in foreclosure are participating in payment plans to catch up on their taxes, she said.

Pulsifer said selectmen would go to voters before taking property and selling it.

Voters will act on the 23 warrant articles June 11 at the Town Office.


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