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Selectmen urge residents to attend deliberative session

February 03, 2010
BELMONT — The town's second-ever deliberative session is this Saturday, and selectmen are urging residents to attend.

Since Belmont became an SB-2 town with a vote at its last town meeting in 2008, it now has to hold deliberative sessions prior to Election Day, when residents vote by ballot on the warrant. Last year the deliberative session was held on a weekday night, and Selectman Jon Pike said the turnout was not good. This year's session is at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, in the Shaker Regional High School cafeteria. Selectmen are hoping the timing will encourage more people to attend.

"We do need them to come," Pike said. "It's very, very important."

The deliberative session will give residents the opportunity to ask questions about or make amendments to the warrant – the only chance to do that before the warrant is finalized for ballot voting on March 9.

The proposed warrant includes an operating budget of $6,713,111; if that were to be voted down on Election Day, the town would revert to a default budget of $6,687,396.

Other articles asking for appropriations include $317,223 for sewage collection and disposal and $257,970 for the water distribution and treatment center (both offset by user fees); 128,814 for curbside recycling; $129,375 to enter a five-year lease/purchase agreement for a new plow truck; and $275,000 to purchase the land and former Northway Bank building at 154 Main Street.

The warrant also includes several articles that would place money into various capital reserve funds.

Three petitioned articles are on the warrant as well. The first asks for the adoption of a zoning ordinance amendment that would allow the use of some biosolids, which the Planning Board does not support.

The second would enact a noise ordinance that would "make it unlawful to play any device at such volume that it is audible at the property line, to operate construction vehicles, tools or equipment, or to discharge fireworks or cannons between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The article also limits noises produced by motor vehicles.

Pike said the board supports this article.

"(We) let it go through as a petitioned article so voters could see it was really being brought forward by the community," he said.

The final petitioned article is one that has been circulated to municipalities throughout the state. It asks voters to approve a resolution to be forwarded to state officials that would allow New Hampshire citizens to vote on an amendment to the state Constitution that defines marriage.

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