Ossipee's town meeting
Voters OK funds for some big ticket items, signage, bridge repair
March 18, 2010
OSSIPEE – Voter turnout was low at town meeting here March 10. It took 100 or so voters just three hours to spend about six million dollars and set the direction of town government for this year.
Very few people took to the microphone to ask questions and voting moved swiftly through the 27 warrant articles.
The only money article that sparked real debate was an amendment made by Marie McConarty to add $6,000 to the recreation budget. The amendment passed, 57-47 and will, according to Ossipee Recreation Director Peter Waugh, allow his department to offer two extra weeks of summer camp for Ossipee youth.
Amongst the projects approved by voters is $69,890 for reconstruction of Chapel Road bridge, $32,301 for a new police cruiser, $8,200 for upgrades to computer systems, $148,376 for a new town truck and $20,000 for installation of a new gate at Big Dan Hole Dam.
"This is probably the most productive thing we can do tonight," said Robert Gillette as he urged voters to approve the purchase of six Welcome to Ossipee signs that show "we are a town and we've got an identity." Voters agreed to spend the $6,016 for this.
Voters approved moving $50,000 from surplus to create a trust fund for future improvements to the newly acquired town property at One Moultonville Road. Selectmen said there are no firm plans for the property yet. Voters also approved $3,000 to have an archaeological study done of the land between Mountainview Restaurant and the Ossipee Concerned Citizens building. This study is being required by the State before any improvements can be made to the property, explained Selectman Harry Merrow.
With the help of anticipated grants, two projects will get completed this year – repairs to the elevted walkways at the Constitution Park hiking trail and insulation of the town hall and gym.
The final article of the night was also on many warrants around the state and garnered the most debate.
The article failed, 43-53 and means Ossipee will not be among the towns to send a resolution to the State House demanding the right to vote on the amendment to the NH Constitution that defines "marriage." Opponents of the article seemed focused on the definition of marriage while proponents urged passage to send the message that citizens should have the right to vote on any constitutional amendments. "Don't take away our right to vote," said resident Wayne Richards.