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Castleberry Fairs

Alton voters reject pair of teachers' contracts


Proposal to give selectmen control over cemetery budget also fails, proposed walking path passes


March 09, 2010
ALTON — Concerns about the economy weighed heavy on the minds of voters in Alton, who rejected a pair of teachers' contracts at the elementary and high schools during Tuesday's election.

Article VI on this year's school district Warrant, which asked voters to approve the terms of a three-year contract between the district and the Alton Teachers' Association, and to raise and appropriate $85,942 to cover the cost of increases in salaries and benefits during the first year, failed by a margin of more than 200 votes, with 416 in favor and 650 against.

Article XI, which asked voters to approve a two-year bargaining agreement between the high school board and the Prospect Mountain Teachers' Association which called for a total increase of $70,543 during the first year (of which Alton's share would have been $33,137.47), also went down to defeat, with 416 in favor and 640 against.

Voters did, however, give both teachers' associations an opportunity to re-negotiate, passing Article VII (which authorized the board to call a special meeting on the elementary school contract) by a margin of 614-429 and Article XII (which calls for a special meeting on the high school contract) by a vote of 629-411.

Along with the two contracts, voters also rejected Article VIII (which asked voters to transfer $50,000 from the FY11 end-of-year fund balance into the Buildings and Grounds Expendable Trust Fund) by a margin of 400-651; Article XVIII (which asked voters to create an exploratory committee at the high school to study the feasibility of partnering with Barnstead on a joint middle school) by a margin of 232-816; and Article XIX (which asked voters to leave the wording of the Prospect Mountain Joint Maintenance Agreement in place as it is currently written) by a margin of 467-543.

The following articles on the school district Warrant passed.

-Article II, which asked voters to set the district moderator's salary at $200 per meeting; the clerk's at $200 per meeting; the treasurer's at $2,000; the school board chair's at $2,100; and those of the remaining board members at $2,000 (798-283).

-Article III, which asked voters to raise and appropriate a combined operating budget for both the elementary and high schools of $12,898,877 (885-195).

-Article IV, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $150,000 to be added to the Buildings and Grounds Expendable Trust Fund (727-355).

-Article V, which asked voters to establish a contingency fund for the purpose of meeting unanticipated utility expenses at the elementary school during the 2010-11 school year, and to raise and appropriate $60,000 to be placed in the new fund (668-416).

-Article IX, which asked voters to discontinue the School Building Maintenance Fund (834-216).

-Article X, which asked voters to discontinue the Roof Capital Reserve Fund (836-208).

-Article XVIII, which asked voters to create a new reserve fund at the high school for the purpose of compensating teachers for professional development expenses, and to raise and appropriate $10,000 to be placed in the new fund (663-396).

-Article XIV, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $33,566.03 to be placed in a contingency fund for the purpose of covering unanticipated utility expenses at the high school during the 2010-11 school year (678-377).

-Article XV, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $20,000 to be added to the high school's General Maintenance Fund (676-383).

-Article XVI, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $6,250 toward the purchase of two security cameras and a new anti-theft alarm system for the high school library (739-325).

-Article XVII, which asked voters to set aside $1,750 from the FY11 end-of-year fund balance toward the cost of a wind turbine feasibility study at the high school (715-334).

-Article XX, a mechanism for hearing the reports of any committees, boards, trustees, commissions, officials, agents, or concerned voters who might wish to come before the district (821-169).

Town results

A proposal to delegate the responsibilities of Alton's Cemetery Trustees to the board of selectmen, which appeared as Article 40 on the 2010 town Warrant, was soundly defeated at the polls, with only 351 voters in favor, and 710 opposed.

Voters also rejected Article 14, a proposal asking voters to grant the board of selectmen the authority to acquire or sell town-owned land and buildings on the town's behalf in accordance with the provisions of RSA 41:14-a, which garnered 399 votes in support and 660 in opposition.

The remaining articles on the town Warrant passed, including:

-Article 2, which asked voters to approve an amendment to the Elderly Housing Ordinance decreasing the allowable number of dwelling units per structure from four to three (703-281).

-Article 3, an amendment to the Elderly Housing Ordinance limiting the density of elderly housing developments to three dwelling structures per acre (726-255).

-Article 4, an amendment to the zoning ordinance allowing for the construction of sexually oriented businesses in designated zones (837-205).

-Article 5, an amendment to the zoning ordinance aimed at establishing the criteria for granting a special exception to sexually oriented businesses (794-243).

-Article 6, an amendment to the zoning ordinance aimed at restricting sexually oriented businesses to the Recreational Services Zone by special exception (799-233).

-Article 7, a revision to the Elderly Housing Ordinance limiting duplexes and multi-family dwellings to a minimum of one acre per unit and five dwelling units per structure (759-270).

-Article 8, an amendment adding the definition of "Dwelling Unit" the zoning ordinance (812-209).

-Article 9, an amendment adding the definition of "Dwelling Structure" to the zoning ordinance (800-190).

-Article 10, which asked voters to discontinue a series of long-dormant capital reserve funds (912-121).

-Article 11, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $103,500 for the purpose of purchasing and equipping three police vehicles, with $19,325 to come from grant funding and the remaining $84,265 to be raised through taxation (569-485).

-Article 12, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $28,000 to be added to the Landfill Closure Capital Reserve Fund (842-241).

-Article 13, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $20,000 to be placed in the Benefit Pay Expendable Trust Fund (595-477).

-Article 15, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $10,000 to be added to the Solid Waste Equipment Capital Reserve Fund (762-308).

-Article 16, which asked voters to authorize the water commissioners to lease a new truck, and to raise and appropriate $10,000 to cover the first year's lease payment, with the full amount to be borne by water system rate payers (607-464).

-Article 17, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $25,000 to be added to the Recreation/Grounds Maintenance Capital Reserve Fund. (697-383).

-Article 18, which asked voters to establish a new capital reserve fund for milfoil treatment, and to raise and appropriate $7,500 to be placed in the new fund (804-270).

-Article 19, which asked voters to establish a new capital reserve fund for senior center improvements, and to raise and appropriate $15,000 to be placed in the new fund (792-286).

-Article 20, which asked voters to raise and appropriate an operating budget in the amount of $6,008,103 (831-243).

-Article 21, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $128,597 for the purpose of funding ambulance operations, with the full amount to be withdrawn from the Ambulance Operation Fund (870-184).

-Article 22, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $28,000 to upgrade the town fire boat from one engine to two, with the full amount to be withdrawn from the town's undesignated fund balance (607-446).

-Article 23, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $10,000 to be added to the Bridge Replacement Capital Reserve Fund (729-316).

-Article 24, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $50,000 to be added to the Highway Equipment Capital Reserve Fund, with the full amount to be withdrawn from the undesignated fund balance (713-322).

-Article 25, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $750,000 to be added to the Highway Reconstruction Capital Reserve Fund, with $75,049.85 from estimated Highway Block Grant revenues and the remaining amount to be raised through taxation (716-330).

-Article 26, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $8,996 in support of the Community Action Program (861-195).

-Article 27, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $7,951 in support of the VNA Hospice (873-179).

-Article 28, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $5,100 in support of Community Health and Hospice (887-166).

-Article 29, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $2,280 in support of the American Red Cross (785-271).

-Article 30, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $10,000 in support of Alton Community Services (847-203).

-Article 31, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $284 in support of the Medication Bridge Prescription Program (857-194).

-Article 32, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $1,500 in support of New Beginnings (765-319).

-Article 33, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $7,500 in support of Genesis (712-360).

-Article 34, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $2,000 in support of Caregivers Transportation (927-152).

-Article 35, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $500 in support of the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program (862-214).

-Article 36, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $2,400 in support of the Appalachian Mountain Teen Project (610-439).

-Article 37, which asked voters to raise and appropriate $2,500 in support of Child and Family Services (770-303).

-Article 38, which asked voters to support the development of a walking and biking path on a strip of town-owned land along the abandoned railroad bed on Depot Street (613-471).

-Article 39, a petitioned article that asked voters to change the purpose of the Town Beach Capital Reserve Fund by allowing it to be used for maintenance of the existing town beach and Harmony Park (757-306).

-Article 41, a petitioned article asking voters to approve a new restriction stating that selectmen's salaries, including cost of living increases, can only be changed by the voting body (898-172).

-Article 42, a petitioned article asking voters to approve a resolution calling on local state legislators to push for a referendum on an amendment to the state Constitution defining 'marriage' (805-262).

Brendan Berube can be reached at 569-3126 or bberube@salmonpress.com

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