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Warrant article seeks to raise $300,000 for updated playground


by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter
February 20, 2019
LANCASTER — The Board of Selectmen in Lancaster recently approved the Warrant articles residents will vote on at Town Meeting on March 12. Voting will take place throughout the day, while the Town Meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Lancaster Town Hall. Below are just a few of the big ticket articles citizens will be voting on. A complete copy can be picked up at Town Hall.

Article 3 will seek to have approved an operating budget of $6,358,404. This sum does not include any other warrant articles.

Article 2, in regards to the Wastewater Master Plan and Asset Management Programs, seeks to raise $135,000 for the purpose of developing a Wastewater Master Plan and Asset Management Programs for both the wastewater and storm water systems, that will qualify the Town for Federal and State funds. This article is recommended by the budget committee as well as selectmen.

Article 4 seeks to raise $70,000 to appropriate for the Capitol Reserve Fund with the Highway Department at $40,000, Fire Department, $20,000, Library, $5,000 and Cemetery, $5,000.

Article 7 is looking to raise $200,000 to pave Garland Road from Marshall Road to the Gore Road and the Gore Road from Garland to North Road, three miles, with said fund to come from the unassigned fund balance.

Lancaster Selectman Leon Rideout said, "We need to maintain our roads on a timely basis and keep them drivable. We try to pave when we know other work needs to be done to limit any duplication."

Article ten seeks to raise and appropriate $110,000 for the purchase of a new ambulance for the fire department.

Article 12 is looking to raise $20,000 for renovations of town offices. Rideout explained that those renovations will help with efficiency and safety with the last renovations taking place several years ago. The orange counter top, while a favorite to most, was clearly installed sometime in the 1960's.

Article 14 seeks to purchase two new cardiac monitors in the sum of $70,000.

Rideout explained, "Those are important and need to be replaced at timed intervals. The same goes for the ambulance, those are swapped out on a rotation basis with the oldest, highest mileage one being replaced."

Article 20 seeks to raise and appropriate $300,000 for the purpose of upgrading the playground at Col. Town Recreation facility. This will include the removal of the old bleachers that have been unused and not maintained for several years.

Rideout said, "This proposal will make the area safer and expand the area available for family recreation at the park."

Other articles include installing a new sidewalk in front of Col. Town as well as safety nets and handicapped ramps.

Voters will be asked to raise money for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Tri-County Transit, Ti-County CAP, Mt. Washington Regional Airport, North Country Home Health and Hospice, Caleb Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, Service Link, Senior Meals of Coos County and Center for New Beginnings to name a few.

"Several of the items will come from the fund balance so they will not have a tax impact this year," said Rideout.

"The budget is up slightly this year. The budget committee and Selectman worked hard to make sure the tax rate would remain steady though so the town portion of the property tax should remain the same. We do not have control over the School County or State portion of property tax rates," added Rideout.

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