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GREENVILLE

Officer raises questioned, but OK’d

Town approves three-year contract with Temple for shared Police Department

  • Greenville Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Tom Falter of Greenville asks for clarification on increases in police salaries during a discussion on the operating budget during Town Meeting on Saturday.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Greenville Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Greenville Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Greenville Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Greenville Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Greenville Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Greenville Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)
  • Greenville Town Meeting 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Ashley Saari)

GREENVILLE — About 50 voters made short work of the town warrant on Saturday, passing the majority of articles without any changes.

The town amended the proposed 2013 operating budget to add $500 for the purpose of purchasing two new printers, one for the town clerk and the other for the tax collector. After the amendment, the budget was approved at $2,027,466.

Resident Tom Falter questioned a $13,955 increase in the budget for police salaries. Police Chief Jim McTague explained that the salary increase included a three percent raise for officers. Town Administrator Kelley Collins told the crowd that the part-time officers had not gotten a raise in over two years.

Residents also agreed to continue sharing police services with the town of Temple, voting 45-3 in favor of entering into a three year agreement to continue sharing the Police Department. The towns just finished a five-year contract to share services. Resident Marshall Buttrick asked if there were any major differences in the contract, and Collins said only the number of years for the contract had changed.

Two other police articles passed with no discussion from the crowd. The town voted to raise and appropriate funds for a new police cruiser. Temple will contribute $13,530 to the new cruiser, and Greenville will use $8,000 from the police cruiser expendable trust fund and $13,162 will be raised through taxation in Greenville.

The Police Department will also receive updated equipment, including the replacement of 10 handguns, two tasers and two bullet proof vests, after residents agreed to raise $4,599. Temple will raise $2,337 to cover the rest of the cost.

The town voted to continue attempts to mitigate issues with the wastewater treatment facility’s discharge permit compliance, voting in favor of a $35,000 to continue a chemical treatment plan. Collins explained that the town was attempting to solve the issue with chemicals, in hopes of avoiding a $4 million equipment upgrade that would also solve the issue. In other articles, the town authorized $288,069 for the operation of the Wastewater Department, and $20,000 for the Wastewater Department expendable trust fund.

The town also authorized $249,765 to operate the Water Department, and to add $110,000 from the water revenue fund to the Water Department expendable trust.

Some residents expressed concern over Article 9, which changed the purpose of the Town Hall capital reserve fund, which was established in 1997 to save funds for the purpose of renovating the Town Hall. The article changed the intent of the fund to include maintenance and repair.

Resident Dan Simonson asked if passing the article meant the town was abandoning long-term renovations for the Town Hall. He said most of the accumulated funds would be eaten up by maintenance issues.

Select Board member Brenda Bergeron pointed out that major repairs to the Town Hall are currently prohibitively expensive. The voters ultimately agreed to change the intent of the fund by a two-thirds hand vote, clearing the way for the town to approve, using $32,000 from the fund to pressure wash, paint and repair the Town Hall’s exterior.

Some road and culvert repairs will be offset by grants this year. Voters approved $37,531 in road reconstruction, repair and paving, which will be offset by a highway block grant. They also approved $6,177 to match $18,531 FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds to upgrade a culvert on Livingston Road.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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