WELD — Voters at the town meeting Saturday learned election results, approved the purchase of a quick attack pumper for the Fire Department and the hiring of an events coordinator.

They also appropriated $223,424 and raised $343,509 for a total budget of $568,933, an increase of $24,075 over last year’s budget.

Incumbent Ben Hout received 46 votes for a three-year selectman seat. There were four write-in votes for Stan Wilcox.

A special election will be held March 25 to elect a selectman to fill the seat vacated by Douglas Voter, who resigned from his post on Thursday. There are two years remaining in his term.

Incumbent Naomi Doughty received 60 votes for a five-year seat on the Planning Board.

Douglas Voter received four votes for a three-year seat on the Regional School Unit 9 school board, defeating Debra Smith, who received three votes. Voter is considering accepting the position.

There was lengthy discussion on the pumper purchase before approval was given to appropriate $12,000 from the safety reserve account and finance up to $238,000.

Fire Chief Corey Hutchinson said there have been various calls involving hard to reach areas such as narrow roads, icy hills or muddy areas where they can’t get in with bigger, heavier trucks.

“This model is more user-friendly,” Hutchinson said. “Anyone can drive it; a commercial driver’s license isn’t needed.” 

He noted there are many properties on the lake that are hard to reach with current equipment. Brush fires are another challenge, he said. 

Assistant Fire Chief Stan Wilcox said he had received several quotes. The last one, for $230,000, could be financed for about $30,000 over seven years, he said.

Hutchinson said a smaller truck can get closer and be available when the larger equipment is called out for mutual aid to other towns.

Douglas Voter said having the smaller truck would help keep residents’ insurance rates down.

Resident Jane Standen said she was very nervous about forest fires during last summer’s drought.  

Voters approved the following:

Paving repairs at the complex, $7,000;

Roof replacement at the Town Hall, $30,000;

Repairs to Mill Street garage, $5,000; and

A new well at the Town Hall, $16,000.

Voters put off raising $30,000 for roof replacement at the Town Office/Post Office Complex. 

The current water supply at the Town Hall is not potable. Year-round access will also be available with the new well.

An amount of $5,000 was raised to repair the monuments. Voters opposed moving them to town property after veterans Edmund Hutchinson, David Fish and David Hutchinson voiced their opposition. 

Voters approved moving to a biannual tax bill system but opposed changing from a calendar year to a fiscal year system beginning July 1, 2018. Doing so would require changing the timing of the town meeting.

Selectman Tom Skolfield said using the fiscal year would make it easier for the town since the county, state and Regional School Unit 9 use that system.

Voters approved hiring an events coordinator to work with the selectmen on booking Town Hall rentals. The position would be paid for through commissions and a different fee schedule would be used for residents. 

In other news, Town Clerk Carol Cochran was recognized for serving as town clerk for 40 years. On Friday, she was given flowers and a plaque.

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Weld Assistant Fire Chief Stan Wilcox provided financing information on the proposed purchase of a quick attack pumper for the Fire Department during the Annual Town Meeting Saturday morning.

Saturday afternoon, voters in Weld voted not to change from a Calendar Year to a Fiscal Year. The vote was 15 for and 21 opposed.

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