NEW SHARON — Voters at Saturday’s annual town meeting opposed spending $240,000 to replace the roof on the Town Office, instead opting to perform structural tests on the building.

Voters decided that if the results of the structural testing are favorable, the Town Office should be updated to include a fire station.

Moderator Dennis Cully, left, Town Clerk Pamela Griswold, and Selectmen Travis Pond, Lorna Nichols and Bob Neal listen to discussion during Saturday’s annual town meeting in New Sharon. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear)

 

The $22,000 to be spent on structural testing of the Town Office will come from surplus funds instead of the fire station’s building reserve fund, as had been requested in the original warrant article.

“We don’t know if this is going to be appropriate for the Fire Department, so funding should not come out of the reserve fund,” Anisa Welch said after she recommended amending the article to change the funding source.

After lengthy discussion, the amended article passed 72-19 in a secret ballot.

If testing shows the Town Office to be structurally sound, up to $115,000 for design planning would come from the fire station building reserve fund. Once design plans are complete, they will be brought before voters for approval and funding.

New Sharon annual town meeting voters overwhelmingly reject an article Saturday requesting $240,000 for a new Town Office roof. Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear

 

“If the structural evaluation is favorable, we move forward with design plans to update the Town Office building to include a new fire station,” Selectman Travis Pond said prior to the vote on the roof replacement article.

“I would not be in favor of spending $240,000 on a roof for a building we are going to upgrade,” he said.

About 100 voters turned out for the meeting at Cape Cod Hill School, moving through the 54-article warrant in about four hours.

They approved a $1.02 million municipal budget, which would be offset by $280,095 in carryovers, the town reserve fund and unappropriated surplus accounts and federal and state reimbursements.

The municipal budget does not include the town’s shares of the Regional School Unit 9 and Franklin County budgets.

Voters also increased a summer road funding request of $237,963 by $95,000 to supplement tarring and paving projects. They reduced to $30,000 (from $50,000) a request for a tax-reducing appropriation from surplus.

They set an interest rate of 5 percent per year on tax bills not paid in full within 60 days of commitment, as opposed to 9 percent interest after 30 days as the article was written. Voters also opposed spending $35,000 to provide a 3 percent discount on taxes paid in full within 30 days of commitment.

Paula Nason

 

In other matters, Paula Nason was elected Friday, March 1 to a three-year term as selectman in a three-way race. Nason received 62 votes. Dennis McCourt and Joseph Rollins received 55 and 22 votes, respectively. Nason replaces Bob Neal who did not seek re-election.

[email protected]

filed under: