STRONG — Voters approved a 2014 budget that raised and appropriated a total amount lower than the previous year.

The Saturday meeting drew 51 voters to the Forster Memorial Building to mull over the 61-article warrant. Selectmen and the Budget Committee calculated initial requests for $565,059, down from a 2013 total of $565,182.

After a two-hour morning session and a hearty lunch prepared by the town’s United Methodist Church Auxiliary, voters returned to wrap up warrant articles totaling $561,371, nearly $4,000 less than last year’s total. They also approved transferring $51,380 from six accounts to apply toward approved expenditures.

Selectmen presented voters with total of $4,350 in requests from seven outside organizations. The only one voters agreed to fund was $1,500 for the United Methodist Economic Ministry in Salem Township, which offers a thrift shop and food pantry.

Voters were in a generous mood when it came to funding the town’s recreational opportunities. They approved a total of $8,900 in requests, including $2,000 for repairing and resurfacing the town’s tennis court, $1,300 to buy a float for the public beach, $1,000 to fund the annual Pierpole Parade and $1,500 to contribute to the town park.

They approved $3,100 for recreation programs and maintenance of facilities. Voters noted that children should have opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation rather than sitting at home, playing computer games. They also mentioned that visitors and potential new residents saw those opportunities as part of the town’s appeal.


During a lull in the meeting process, fire Chief Duayne Boyd said the four dozen American flags that hung from utility poles were tattered and should be replaced. School board director Rupert Pratt offered to buy one and challenged his fellow townspeople to make the same pledge. In less than five minutes, more than two dozen volunteers agreed to pay for 30 of the 48 flags.

Voters also agreed to buy a new plow truck, with costs not to exceed $175,000. To pay for the purchase, selectmen plan to transfer $116,700 from Special Equipment Fund reserves and borrow up to $58,300, paying back the loan over three years, including interest.

Each year, citizens debate whether to save money by shutting off several streetlights. Pratt suggested reducing the requested amount from $8,300 to $5,000. Residents had varying opinions about the issue.

“We keep kicking the can down the road,” Clifford Haggan said.

Not knowing which lights would be shut off bothered Dean Stanley.

“Is there a plan for this?” he asked selectmen.

Voters decided by written ballot, 19-32, not to shut off any lights.

Voters approved taking $250,000 from undesignated funds to reduce the tax commitment.

Moderator Roger Lambert swore in Selectman James Burrill, who got 78 votes for a three-year term. Also re-elected were RSU 58 directors Lois Barker and Rupert Pratt. Loretta Deming received 21 votes as a write-in candidate for the third school board seat.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.