Dublin voters passed all warrant articles, including a bond for town broadband

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Dublin residents approved every article on the warrant, including a 20-year bond with Consolidation Communications for broadband in town, at Saturday's Town Meeting, March 14, 2020. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/14/2020 11:25:44 PM

Voters overwhelmingly approved a warrant article seeking to enter into a $1.3 million, 20-year bond with Consolidated Communications for municipal broadband at Saturday’s Town Meeting.

Requiring a two-thirds majority of a ballot vote to pass, residents showed support for the measure that would bring broadband to every home and building in town. After the polls stayed open for the required hour, Moderator Tim Clark revealed the article received 97 percent approval by a margin of 223 to 5.

Dublin will now begin the necessary steps to turn its Town Meeting vote into an opportunity for residents and businesses to receive faster internet through the fiber to premise buildout. The bond will not affect the tax rate and the bond will be paid by Consolidated Communications through an access fee to subscribers not to exceed $11.50 per month. There is no requirement for residents to opt into the service.

“If you have service and you’re happy stay with it,” said Rob Koester, vice president of consumer product marketing. “There’s no reason you need to move.”

The one cost that customers will incur is if they have existing wiring underground that does not have a conduit that is necessary for the fiber installation.

Ken Woods, managing director of Dublin Health & Benefits Group, said the company opted to have fiber installed five years ago and had to cover a $7,000 fee.

“If we had this five years ago, I wouldn’t have been in that situation,” Woods said, voting for the bond.

His current cost is around $300 month, which Koester said would decrease.

“If you’re in favor of faster speed for less, than vote yes,” Koester said.

Koester said prior to the vote, with five towns going through the voting process this year, the expectation would be to get things started mid to late fourth quarter and done by this time next year.

“It will be available to every home in the town of Dublin,” said town Broadband Committee member Sturdy Thomas.

Voters approved an amended budget with an additional $5,000 put into the website management line to bring the total to $2,100, 373. The increase was sought to pursue a new town website that will be more user friendly, especially for mobile device users.

Carol Monroe, who was elected to the Select Board Tuesday, said the new website is through a company that creates platforms “specifically for small towns like Dublin.”

An article seeking $62,985 for chip sealing of Valley Road and Perry Pasture Road, with $45,000 coming for the town’s unassigned fund balance passed with little discussion, but the topic of using funds from the unassigned fund balance continued through the next few articles.

An amendment to an article seeking $5,000 for repairs to the steps and railings of the post office, changed the source of the funds from the Town Buildings Maintenance Capital Reserve Fund to the unassigned fund balance, put forth by resident Allan Pinney.

“There’s a lot of money sitting in there,” Pinney said. “You will see a reduction in your town taxes.”

Pinney also sought to have an article amended to have $201,000 for town capital reserve funds taken from the unassigned fund balance, but the amount raised concerns.

Using the fund balance to cover the cost of the article would bring the fund’s total to below the 5 to 8 percent window that town likes to maintain, said Selectman Dale Gabel, with the actual numbers for the end of 2019 not expected until later in the year.

“Since we don’t have the real numbers, I guess we go with the article as written,” said resident Jonathan Sistare.

“The risk is like anything else, you won’t have it if you need it,” Gabel said.

Residents defeated the amendment, but passed the article.

Residents also approved $5,000 to ad spray foam to the basement walls of the library, $3,600 for the Dublin Advocate, $7,372 for various agencies who provide advisory health and welfare services to the town and $7,000 for the Dublin Community Center. Also approved were funds of $13,808 for the Expendable Trust Funds for revaluation, master plan and town buildings repair, $175 for the Cemetery Trust Fund, as well as two petition articles to increase the veteran’s tax credit from $500 to $750 and an optional tax credit of $4,000 for or veterans with a 100 percent military disability rating.

Former longtime road agent and deputy fire chief Brian Barden was named Dublin Citizen of the Year.


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