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Sharon voters to get say in Swamp Road closure

  • The Sharon Select Board present the budget on Tuesday night during the town's Budget Hearing. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • The Sharon Select Board present the budget on Tuesday night during the town's Budget Hearing. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • The Sharon Select Board present the budget on Tuesday night during the town's Budget Hearing. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, February 08, 2018

Only a handful of residents turned out to give input on Sharon’s budget during the town’s annual Budget Hearing on Tuesday night.

The town’s budget is set at $376,425 this year, about a $9,000 increase from the previous year.

The bulk of those increases – about $8,000 – is attributed to services from Peterborough, Chair Carl Newton told the residents in attendance. Areas where Sharon contracts services from Peterborough, including the ambulance and police, had gone up, while fire service costs were down. The net, however, was an increase.

In addition to several monetary warrant articles, the Select Board will also be asking the town for permission to discontinue Swamp Road as an open highway, and to bar and gate it. The request is part of the town’s attempts to stem illegal dumping that is rampant in that area.

“The goal is to reduce the problem’s we’re encountering,” said Newton. “It’s a safety issue, to start with.”

“We’ve had someone dump hazardous material in a drum there, which if it had spilled, would have caused any matter of ecological issues,” said Selectman Ted O’Brien. 

Newton told the public that the town was in the process of notifying the abutting landowners, and said that the board would likely only move forward with the article with their blessing. All landowners would have a key to the gate, and the area would still admit walkers, hikers and hunters, but would be barred to traffic, he clarified.

The town is also requesting $6,800 for the purchase of a new software package and training for the Town Clerk’s office, which will make the process of car registration and dog registration smoother. Of that cost, about $1,700 will continue annually for support functions.

The rest of the articles on Sharon’s warrant request additions to the town’s capital reserve funds, including $10,000 for the town bridge fund, $7,500 for the audit fund, $1,000 for the welfare services fund and $35,000 for the highway repairs fund.

The highway fund currently contains about $41,000, and the town has been building it up with the goal of reaching $100,000 in the next 2-3 years, said Newton. 

“Primarily, it will be used for paving, patching, shimming, and the like, to get to some of these roads before we lose them all,” said Newton. 

Voting in Sharon will be held on March 13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to cast votes for town elections and zoning amendments at the Sharon Meeting House. The Town Meeting will be held the same day, also at the Meeting House, at 8 p.m.