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Sticker fee increase draws ire

November 10, 2010
MOULTONBORO — An increase in the transfer station sticker fee has some residents up in arms.

On Thursday, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in favor of raising the price of stickers from $10 to $20. Stickers are valid for two years and are used for access to both the transfer station and town beaches.

Town Administrator Carter Terenzini said the $10 price has been in place for several years and raising the price of the stickers could raise an additional $20,000 in revenue.

Terenzini recommended that the new price be effective Jan. 1, though stickers become available on Dec. 1 with the cycle ending Dec. 30.

Members of the board recommended that the price be put in place in December so there would not be a rush to purchase the stickers at the $10 rate. As a result of the motion and the vote, the prices will go into effect in December.

After the vote, several residents protested the rate change.

Resident Al Hume said such an increase could hurt seniors on a fixed income who have not received a cost of living adjustment in a long time. Hume suggested that seniors be able to purchase the stickers for $10.

"I think there are also a lot of families out there that haven't gotten raises," said resident Gary Torreson. "Families are struggling."

Selectman Ed Charest said, for him, the cost of a transfer station sticker was less than the cost of curbside trash pickup and he cancelled his garbage service. Charest said $10 is an exceedingly low amount compared to other communities and the $20 is more comparable.

"I think it would be a nice little gesture to our seniors," Hume said of his suggestion.

"We seniors get a lot of discounts on a lot of different things. I don't think it's a huge amount of money," Charest said.

Board Chair Joel Mudgett said the board is trying to think of ways to garner more revenue without raising taxes.

Some residents said $20,000 is a small amount of revenue compared to its potential impact and the town should cut spending instead. Residents also raised the issue of the ongoing examination of town recreation projects, such as fields or a community center.

Mudgett said the increase in fees was not only for revenue but also to make fees comparable. Selectmen said the increase in sticker fees was part of an overall examination of town fees, saying Planning Board and cemetery fees also went up.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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