Temple Capital Improvement Committee tweaks warrant requests

  • Capital Improvement Committee members Gary Scholl, Chair Gail Cromwell and Tim Fiske discuss a request to purchase new garage doors for the town's Highway Department. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/6/2023 1:10:37 PM

Temple’s Capital Improvement Committee made final adjustments to warrant article requests last week in anticipation of the town’s public hearing of the budget this Thursday, including adding a new proposed article and trimming other requests to accommodate it.

During its meeting on Thursday, the committee discussed a request for a warrant article to use $26,000 to convert the town’s F550 brush truck to a rescue truck, and dispose of the department’s current rescue truck. Chair Gail Cromwell said the town’s current truck can “barely make it up the hill” and is a late 1970s model.

Board members agreed that the request was sound, but due to rising inflation costs driving up the operating budget, they agreed to cut other requests to keep the overall requests palatable to the public. The committee had an overall goal for $275,000 of tax impacts from capital improvements, and prior to the addition of the brush truck conversion, was already up against that wall.

The current proposed budget for Temple is $1.36 million, compared to this year’s budget of $1.3 million, an increase of 4.9 percent.

CIP Committee Secretary Andrew Paul noted, “Us coming in under 5 percent when inflation is whatever it is this week is amazing.”

The board reviewed the remaining warrant requests, and agreed to reduce requests for the Fire Department capital reserve from $20,000 to $10,000 and the highway asphalt and paving expendable trust from $215,000 to $200,000, after confirming both trusts had sufficient amounts to accomplish the department’s goals for the coming year.

The Fire Department reserve currently has $5,000 and the highway asphalt and paving account has $188,000.

The committee also discussed, but did not change, other monetary requests on this year’s warrant.

The town is expecting to request $15,000 to replace the overhead garage doors at the Highway Department, to facilitate the storage of the department’s vehicles.

Committee Vice Chair Ivy Bibler asked if the town wanted to invest in a building, despite eventually hoping to invest in a new home for the Highway Department.

Committee member and former road agent Tim Fiske replied realistic conversations about a new highway garage were at least five years out, and said the doors would be transferable.

The town is also requesting $15,000 to replace the existing town flagpole, and $10,000 for the replacement of alarm systems in town buildings. The town has not received quotes for the work to replace the town’s alarms, but could use funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to cover any shortfall not provided for by the warrant article, if voters approve.

The Select Board will hold a public hearing on the town budget and financial warrant articles on Feb. 9, in the Town Hall, at 7 p.m. The meeting will also be broadcast by Zoom, as a convenience to residents, with a link and meeting code available on the town’s website and meeting notice. If the Zoom fails or cannot be established, the meeting will continue. Residents cannot provide feedback or ask questions remotely.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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