Greenfield passes all articles at Town Meeting Saturday

  • Greenfield voters cast ballots for broadband internet bonding at 2021 Town Meeting at Oak Park on May 1. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Greenfield held 2021 Town Meeting at Oak Park on May 1. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/2/2021 9:33:19 AM

Greenfield passed all articles at its 2021 Town Meeting Saturday, as more than 150 residents convened at the Oak Park pavilion, braving gusts of wind and blustery temperatures to motor through the warrant with minimal back-and-forth in just under two hours.

Residents passed a bond to install municipal fiber internet via Consolidated Communications 152 to 1. Broadband advocate Tom Bascom received a round of applause for his role in bringing the article to vote. It’s too soon to tell whether the bond would affect Greenfield's ability to receive funds from the latest federal infrastructure bill, Bascom said. Concord legislators are currently working on a bill for distributing those funds, and a proposed amendment would extend funding eligibility to any town without broadband as of January 2021. That would allow Greenfield to seek additional funding if it passed, he said. 

Voters also agreed to fund certain Capital Reserve Funds to replenish amounts that had been originally budgeted for 2020 but cut last year in anticipation of revenue losses. The Highway Department’s gravel roads project this year is to finish repairing East Road, Select Board members said. The open DPW Director position made for some discussion, with one resident encouraging the Select Board to hire a local resident already on staff. The budgeted amount for that position is high because the town needed to make sure there were sufficient funds in case the eventual hire needed a family insurance plan, Town Administrator Aaron Patt said. The increased cost in ambulance services also garnered some attention from voters. Costs are up but calls in town were down this year, Patt said. A switch to Peterborough ambulance services may not provide any better response times than Wilton, Select Board member Michael Borden said, and Greenfield may not have as much say in an arrangement with Peterborough.

Article 2 asked voters to spend $1,356,297 to connect the town to fiber internet. $987,012 of that will come from a bond, and $369,285 will come from the broadband provider. PASSED

Article 3 asked voters to spend $123,515 on the Recycling Center. PASSED

Article 4 asked voters to spend $2,400 on the used oil collection program at the recycling center. Funds will be offset by an associated grant assistance program. PASSED

Article 5 asked voters to spend $67,000 to restore the 2020 Capital Reserve Funds savings plan, which the town reduced last year to mitigate potential revenue impacts from COVID-19. It contributes these amounts to specific capital reserve funds: $3,000 to Assessment, $5,000 to Fire/Rescue Apparatus, $10,000 to Highway Department, $10,000 to Library Buildings and Grounds Maintenance, $4,000 to Master Plan, $25,000 to Meeting House Improvements, $5,000 to Police Vehicle, $5,000 to Town Buildings Maintenance. PASSED

Article 6 asked voters to spend $173,500 from the Fund Balance towards the following Capital Reserve Funds: $6,000 to Assessment, $40,000 to Fire/Rescue Apparatus, $30,000 to Highway Department, $10,000 to Library Buildings and Grounds Maintenance, $4,000 to Master Plan, $50,000 to Meeting House Improvements, $7,500 to Non-Apparatus Fire Department, $10,000 to Police Vehicle, $1,000 to Recycling Center Facilities and Equipment, $15,000 to Town Buildings Maintenance. PASSED

Article 7 asked voters to spend $137,987 on the Fire Department. PASSED

Article 8 asked voters to spend $254,546 on the Police Department. PASSED

Article 9 asked voters to spend $1,096,338 on operation and maintenance of the town. PASSED

Article 10 asked voters to spend $514,711 on the Department of Public Works. PASSED

Article 11 asked voters to spend $125,000 on road paving or reconstruction. PASSED

Article 12 asked voters to spend $25,000 on gravel road repair and maintenance. PASSED

Article 13 asked voters to spend $124,554 on the Stephenson Memorial Library. PASSED

Article 14 asked voters to spend $45,055 on the Town Clerk’s office. PASSED

Article 15 asked voters to spend $500 towards the Forest Fire Fighters Expendable Trust Fund. PASSED

Article 16 was a petition article that asks voters to urge the NH General Court to redistrict political maps fairly and transparently, without gerrymandering. PASSED


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