Rindge selectmen working to finalize warrant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, January 22, 2018 5:4PM

Rindge’s selectmen worked Wednesday to finalize the town warrant, but final approval will not happen until next week. 

There are currently 21 articles on this year’s warrant, which includes appropriating funds for the town’s proposed $3.98 million operating budget, a five-year purchase agreement for a $467,729 fire truck, and a $206,000 loader. 

Much of Wednesday’s meeting was devoted to working on the wording of the articles and finalizing how each article should be paid for. 

One article that received a lot of discussion would allow selectmen to enter a five-year lease-purchase agreement for a $467,729 fire truck.

Originally, Town Administrator Joe Byk was going to use language similar to last year’s article asking for a fire truck, but the board decided to revert back to an article from 2012 which asked for the same thing. 

Selectmen also ensured that the article had an escape clause, meaning that voters will have to approve the payment each year.

Selectwoman Roberta Oeser requested that trade-in amounts be added to warrant articles requesting $150,000 for a Freightliner M2 plow truck and $206,000 bucket loader with attachments, both for the highway department. 

Both do not have a tax impact as written, as all of the plow truck and $166,000 of the loader will be paid for by the unassigned fund balance. The remaining funds for the loader will be paid through the transfer station special revenue fund, if passed. 

Oeser, after previously speaking with DPW Director Michael Cloutier, said that the trade-in for the town’s plow truck should be about $6,000, while trade in for the loader should be about $30-40,000.

The board discussed two articles revolving around the town’s transfer station special reserve fund. 

Originally, there was supposed to be an article asking voters to expand use of the fund to include operational expenses, but Byk said DRA didn’t approve the wording, prompting the split. 

Oeser said she didn’t think the wording on the two articles – one to close the current fund and another to create a transfer station revolving fund – were legal, as she didn’t think state law allowed for revolving funds to be used for transfer stations. 

Byk said he would check into the legality and approach the board at a later date with potentially reworded articles. 

The following articles are also currently on the draft warrant: $18,000 for the Wellington Road Bridge Replacement Capital Reserve Account; $28,000 for the revaluation capital reserve account; $35,000 from the fire department equipment capital reserve account for a new fire utility vehicle; $15,700 form the unassigned fund balance for an industrial Kubota zero-turn mower; to purchase a $40,000 generator for the highway department if grants are received; $5,000 for the Rindge 250 Expendable Trust Fund; establishing the Ingalls Memorial Library Trust Fund and placing $20,000 into it; establishing the Cemetery Fund and placing $12,000 into it; purchasing a $14,000 recreation department 15-passenger van with donated funds; and to allow the operation of Keno in town. 

There are also two petition articles on the warrant. 

The first asks voters to adopt the veterans’ tax credit, which would give $500 annually to veterans.

The second asked the town to support Governor Sununu in joining Massachusetts and Maine to study the feasibility of developing offshore wind power in the Gulf of Maine. 

Selectmen said during the meeting that the warrant will be finalized next week, after some wording and other potential changes have been researched. Selectmen will also vote on the articles.