Voting set for Tuesday, Wednesday

Voters will go to the polls Tuesday for the second session of the annual Town Meeting, where they’ll elect town
officials, decide whether to support an $11.9 million town budget and cast ballots on requests for $205,000 for
two capital reserve funds. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Article 1: Town officers

Most candidates for office are running unopposed this year, including current Select Board Chair Barbara Miller, Budget Committee members Gordon Kemp, Leslie Lewis and Paul Sullivan, Planning Board member Tom Weeks and ZBA members Sharon Monahan and Bob Lambert. The only contested race is for a one year term as a library trustee; Geoffrey Taylor and Ronald Bowman are both seeking that seat.

Article 2. Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 — $11,878,659

The proposed budget of $11,878,659 drew little discussion at the town’s April 2 deliberative session. At that meeting, Miller said the budget includes $68,000 to fund a 1.7 percent merit pool for wage increases for town employees. Retirement costs will be going up 4 percent, gasoline is expected to rise 36 percent and diesel fuel 46 percent. The first payment on the bond for improvements to Adams Pool, which was approved by voters last year, will add $69,735 to the budget.

The town will save $61,380 on health insurance, liability insurance and workmen’s compensation as a result of a switch of insurance carriers, Miller said. Other savings include $14,779 through the use of wood pellet systems for heating the Town House, the wastewater treatment plant and the police station. The ambulance transport service that started last year is expected to generate $17,434 in income.

If the budget and all warrant articles are approved, the amount to be raised by taxation will be 2.2 percent higher than last year, which Miller said is equivalent to the rate of inflation.

Both the Select Board and the Budget Committee are recommending the appropriation.

Article 3. Fleet Management Capital Reserve Fund — $155,000

The fund was established in 2002, to provide for orderly replacement of vehicles and equipment for the public works and recreation departments.

Both the Select Board and the Budget Committee are recommending the appropriation.

Article 4. Financial Management Software/Hardware Capital Reserve Fund —$50,000

This money will be used to replace 16-year-old tax software and update the financial management server. Voters also approved $50,000 for this fund last year.

If the budget does not pass on Tuesday, it will be taken up the next day at the open session of Town Meeting, starting at 7 p.m. at the Town House. At the open session, voters will weigh three options for dealing with the vacant GAR Hall on Grove Street. They’ll also vote on whether to authorize a $200,000 bond to bring the roads in the Legacy Woods development in West Peterborough up to town standards, with payment for the bond coming from the residents of the neighborhood, and whether to approve a $2.6 million bond for road, water and sewage improvements on Union Street between Main Street and Scott Winn Road. And they’ll be asked to support a $28,000 two-year lease purchase agreement for a replacement police cruiser.

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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