PERU — The fate of the former Friends of Peru Elementary School building was decided Tuesday when residents voted 261-224 to allocate $7,000 to the community center and continue its operations under the supervision of the Board of Selectmen.

The opposing questions on Tuesday’s ballot, either to fund or destroy the building, which failed 208-288, were both originally initiated by local petitions: Ed Patenaude’s petition asked that the building be demolished, while representatives from Friends of Peru Elementary School requested $10,000 in funding, which was later reduced to $7,000.

Larry Snowman and Lynda Hebert won three-year seats on the Board of Selectmen. Candidate Snowman received 231 votes; Hebert, 196 votes; Duane Childs, 163 votes; and incumbent John Witherell, 109 votes.

Debra Coudrain was elected town clerk/tax collector/treasurer as the sole candidate, while Angela Cushman, who also ran unopposed, won the open school board seat.

Peru residents also voted on 41 questions pertaining to the town’s budget for 2018-19.

Residents approved a budget of $44,760 for operations and maintenance of the Fire Department; an increase of about $9,000 due to added insurances and town payroll taxes.


Residents also voted 247-232 in support of the $65,800 budget for the town clerk/tax collector/treasurer’s office. The budget was increased from current6 spending by $48,637, also due to insurances and payroll taxes.

In a 280-200 vote, voters rejected the proposed $46,050 budget for town officials. It would have included the salary of the secretary to the selectmen, animal control expenses, stipends for the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen and the town’s code enforcement officer.

The Town Office operations budget was  proposed at $64,000, but was voted down 246-233. Included in the budget were costs for the town’s annual audit, building and grounds maintenance, property assessments and office equipment.

The town’s road department was given a budget of $253,354 for summer maintenance and $171,322 for winter maintenance. Both budgets, passed by wide margins, include wages and benefits for employees and the cost of materials.

Voters were also asked if they wanted to take $250,000 from the town’s excise tax, and another $250,000 from the town’s surplus to reduce the town’s 2018-19 commitment. Voters voted no in a 256-235 vote.


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