Voters OK Highway Department garage

  • Resident Dave Baker rises to speak at Mason Town Meeting. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Moderator Catherine Schwenk at Mason Town Hall on voting day 2017. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Moderator Catherine Schwenk at Mason Town Meeting. Staff photo by Brandon Latham

  • Selectmen Louise Lavoie, Charles Moser and Bernard O’Grady at Mason Town Meeting. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript)

  • Dave Baker rises to speak at Mason Town Meeting. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/21/2017 6:54:20 AM

Groundbreaking on a new garage for Mason’s highway department is expected by May after being approved by voters at Saturday’s annual town meeting.

The $363,000 bond project was approved by a ballot vote of 59 to 10, carrying easily despite contentious questions from residents. It adds a bond in the year after the police department bond was finally paid off. The estimated bond rate is 2.5 percent.

One such insertion, made by Dave Baker, asked that the well be done first. It was promised by the board of selectmen and will be honored.

“We’ve always dealt with bad water down there, unfortunately,” he said. Baker is a retired Mason fire chief.

The plan already included a well for the highway and fire departments to share at their Depot Road location. According to Selectman Bernard O’Grady, the water there now is so sulfurous and bad-smelling it cannot even be used for washing.

All other articles passed unanimously (with the exception of one no-vote on the final article, followed by an audible “I had to get one in.”) Among them was the budget, 3 percent lower than last year’s, which received some applause. The operating budget is $1,612,789.89.

The budget passed with little debate. Residents rose to question increases to telecommunications spending on various phone and internet line items. The speed and bandwidth is being improved, and the town is partnering to share bandwidth, as well as cost, with the school district, officials said to explain the increases.

“It’s an infrastructure update,” Selectboard Chair Louise Lavoie, who was re-elected last week, said. “Especially to the police department.”

The biggest item, the garage bond, was the most-discussed item. If the 2.5 percent bond rate holds, the $363,000 bond will cost about $412,913 including interest over its duration.

“Hopefully we’ll be putting in a foundation by May and have a building by the end of summer,” O’Grady said.


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