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Citizens deny ladder, road repair
ANDOVER- On a beautiful spring morning more than 75 citizens turned out at the historic town hall for Saturday's annual meeting to be sure they had their say in the proposed $615,187 budget.
The town was asked for their support in keeping the 30-student school open by allowing selectmen to negotiate an agreement with SAD 44 to continue operation of the Andover Elementary School for the 2012/2013 school year. The agreement asks that the cost to the town not exceed $68,000. This request comes less than a year after the SAD 44 school board voted to close the school.
The vote was to take place on March 20, too late for this paper's deadline. The results will be reported in next week's issue.
Voters turned down a request for $11,000 for repairs of the ladder truck and agreed to explore options to enter into a shared-use-agreement for a regional ladder truck.
A big ticket item on the docket included whether or not the town would authorize municipal officers to accept the application for and execute any documents related to a $146,300 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) grant that has been awarded and authorize their expenditure for the purpose of replacing the existing SCBA.
The grant pays for 22 air packs with a match of $7,000 by the town. Approval of this item will reduce budget requirements by $2,000 this year and reduce annual SCBA testing expenses by 50 percent ($1500) in subsequent years.
After much discussion on whether or not to match the grant request, Wayne Delano noted, “It's a no brainer, people. We need the packs now. We're better off to spend the money now, than to wait for a couple more years when we don't have the grant and we have to pay more.”
This time of year with the frost coming out of the ground and roads getting worse by the minute, citizens were asked to appropriate $300,000 for a 1-mile rebuild of Farmer's Hill Road. Roger Sabin noted that compared to Route 232, “232 is a super highway.”
The town voted by written ballot to defeat the article, leaving travelers to the mercy of Farmer's Hill.
This year the town received requests in the total of $11,955 from non-profit organizations seeking town support, with the budget committee recommending $6,635 be granted. With the exception of Community Concepts receiving $750, instead of their requested $500 and Black Mountain of Maine receiving $100, when they requested zero dollars, everyone got the budget committee recommendation for the year, totaling $7,235.
Final results for the total budget approved weren't available at the time of this printing and will be reported in the next issue of this paper.