Sharon Select Board wants to close Swamp Road bridge

  • Select Board members Carl Newton and Linda Paris discuss the budget on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ashley Saarit

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, February 09, 2017 6:42AM

Concerned about deficiencies plaguing the Swamp Road Bridge, the Sharon Select Board will be asking for permission to close the bridge during Town Meeting this year.

During their public hearing of the budget on Tuesday, the board agreed to add a warrant article to close the red-listed bridge, which has issued with poor substructure and railings. The board agreed that they did not currently have the funds needed to fix the bridge, and since it was accessible from both sides for residents to access the entirety of Swamp Road, that closing it would be the best option at the moment.

“It’s going to be a financial burden if you fix it,” said Select Board Chair Carl Newton.

The board also agreed to put on two articles that would make the tax collector and town clerk three-year elected terms, rather than a single year, which is the way it currently stands. 

The town’s budget is down this year, dropping from $368,163 to $346,444. The decrease is mainly attributed to the finishing of the mortgage payment and interest on the Meeting House last year. There are also slight decreases in Sharon’s payments for services from Peterborough police and ambulance and recycling, which help to offset the $8,000 jump in their payment for fire services. The Select Board also decided to address the entirety of the town’s payment to the Peterborough library for use of their services, rather than addressing the bulk of that payment in a separate warrant article, as has been done in the past. 

The town will be requesting several additions to the town’s capital reserve funds. A $1,500 request for the brick school house maintenance fund, which will complete the $6,500 goal for the eventual replacement of the roof. The town is requesting $2,000 for the welfare fund.

The town is also saving for eventual road and bridge work. There will be requests for $20,000 for the town highway repair funds, which will double what’s in that account.

“We have not done a lot with the town roads for the past few years,” said Newton. “Before we get into trouble, we need to address it.”

The town is also asking for $10,000 for the bridge fund, which has about $18,000 in it.