Budget passes in New Ipswich

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 03-29-2023 12:36 PM

New Ipswich voters passed the entirety of the proposed warrant Tuesday, including the budget, which was one of the votes that was most split, with 513 in support, and 356 against.

With its passage, the budget is now set at $3.25 million. Had it failed, the default budget would have been $3.14 million.

The town will continue with its 10-year road plan fully funded, with two articles addressing roadwork passing. One requested $350,000 and the other $250,000 to continue paving and resurfacing town roads. The town has traditionally split the overall cost between two articles, in hopes of at least one passing to allow work to continue for the coming year. Both articles received roughly the same level of support, with 659 and 610 votes in favor, respectively.

Voters also accepted $106,267 from the NH Department of Transportation block grant, for road repairs.

While all articles passed with a margin of at least a hundred votes, there were several that had over 300 votes against, making them among the most controversial articles.

Voters approved a list of capital fund reserves and expendable trust additions, in a 539-330 vote, resulting in a total addition of $343,500 between a total of eight accounts – $95,000 for the highway department, $95,000 for the fire department, $6,000 for pool maintenance, $2,500 for parks and recreation, $50,000 for the Police Department, $30,000 for the revaluation fund, $35,000 for building maintenance, and $30,000 for Fire Department protective equipment.

Voters agreed to establish a fund for the Heritage Commission, meant to be used to save donations or fundraising for town heritage projects, and to raise $5,000 to start the fund, in a 503-358 vote.

Voters also agreed to start two other funds, by wider margins, including establishing a Fire Department Communication Capital Reserve Fund, for the purpose of putting aside funding for radios and communications equipment, in a 671-210 vote. They also agreed to establish a revolving fund for the transfer station, which will collect transfer station fees, and be used for area improvements, and to seed that fund with $5,000, in a 602-278 vote.

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In one of the closest votes of the day, voters agreed in a 496-368 vote to use $20,440 from the Revaluation Capital Reserve to pay for the fourth year of the town’s cyclical revaluation.

Voters also approved $40,000 for support of the New Ipswich Library in a 558-318 vote, and $114,000 for the services of Souhegan Valley Ambulance in a 712-159 vote.

Voters also approved the readoption of Veteran’s tax credits, to allow for the same credit the town was already providing – $750 – to be applied to currently serving members of the armed forces, not just discharged veterans.

 

Board races decided

In town races, Selectman Shawn Talbot was re-elected in an uncontested race with 719 votes.

In a write-in victory, Nancy Clark was elected to a two-year seat on the Planning Board with no contestant, with 35 votes. Clark has been at odds with the town over zoning and town approvals related to a tea party business, Silver Scones, on River Road, where she is representing a group of neighbors who oppose the business, and have appealed decisions to the state’s Housing Board of Appeals. Silver Scones is currently before the Planning Board for site plan approval. Richard Smeeth, who is one of the parties Clark is representing in those appeals, was also elected to the board for a three-year seat with 545 votes.

In the only contested race on the ballot, Jeanne Cunningham won a seat on the board of assessors, beating out opponent Gretchen Rae 525-142. William Seppala was named the write-in winner as Cemetery Trustee with 15 votes, when no one filed for the position.

In uncontested races, Brenda Pellerito won supervisor of the checklist, Lisa Carbone was re-elected as town clerk and tax collector, Carlene Wardwell as treasurer, and Robert Zinmeister as trustee of the trust funds.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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