WOODSTOCK — The Board of Selectmen voted 2-1 Tuesday to cut the General Assistance budget from $6,000 to $5,000 for 2016-17.

Chairman Ron Deegan suggested the cut during a review of the proposed spending plan.

“A cut of $1,000 won’t make much of a difference with the budget,” Town Manager Vern Maxfield said.

“To me, it would,” Deegan said. “I’m fighting for every penny that I can with the budget.”

He said that over the past few years, the General Assistance account has only used $3,000 of the $6,000 voters approved.

“If we cut $1,000 from it, that leaves a $2,000 buffer zone, in case we spend more next year,” he said.


Selectman Mike Nadeau sided with Maxfield, saying, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

After Deegan called for a vote, he and Stephen Bies voted in favor of the amendment, while Nadeau voted against it.

The board also discussed the town’s property maintenance budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Maxfield said the $17,000 proposed is “what we’ve been budgeting for years.

“We have two roofs that need work: the library roof and the Town Office roof — but the library roof is worse,” Maxfield said. “If we decide to do the library roof this year, it will probably take everything in that budget, which won’t leave anything for the Town Office roof.”

Deegan asked if the Town Office roof could wait another year.


“Yes, it’s starting to rust a little bit, and needs to be painted, but it can wait another year,” Maxfield said.

“The way I see it, roofs are important,” Deegan said. “They’re big assets for buildings. If you don’t maintain your big assets, you’re in trouble. If you’re going to cut something, don’t make it a roof.”

Bies asked Maxfield how much it would cost to fix the library roof.

“Well, in the early spring of last year, we were told $27,000 for a metal roof, but I’m not sure if that’s still the case,” Maxfield said.

Nadeau suggested that Maxfield get some estimates on replacing the library roof by the board’s Jan. 19 meeting.


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.