Selectmen send pair of articles to budget committee


January 19, 2011
ALTON — The Alton Board of Selectmen met for a work session on Monday, Jan. 17, with the goals of giving final approval to a pair of warrant articles that would then be presented to the budget committee.

Article 13 deals with purchasing a parcel of land next to the town landfill that has been contaminated.

The town will be purchasing this parcel of land to eliminate any possible litigation in the future. The board approved a total of $500,000 to come from the fund balance and $1 to come from taxation.

Since the assessment of the property hasn't been completed, this number will be changed prior to the deliberative session. The actual amount coming from taxation will be the difference from the assessment and fund balance.

This amount of $500,000 could be increased by as much as $700,000, but it is highly unlikely that the property will be valued that high.

The second article, Article 14, deals with the sale of a several pieces of town property. The article originally had assessed values of each property, but the board agreed to change that number to a bottom line, representing a total of $300,000.

Ruth Messier came before the board and presented them with a presentation detailing errors that were listed in the 2009 and 2008 town report involving details about resignations and replacement on the Board of Selectmen.

According to Messier, the board signed the 2009 Report of the Board of Selectmen, which incorrectly stated the resignation of Alan Sherwood, filling his vacancy and other elections within the board.

Town Administrator Russ Bailey felt that these corrections could be made when the 2010 Report of the Board of Selectmen comes out.

Messier also suggested that the town try to get a town historian to prevent these kinds of errors in the future, adding that she wasn't interested in filling the position.

Selectman Peter Bolster said that the town and Alton Historical Society have tried to find a town historian, but no one has come forward to fill the position.

The board approved the sale of three vehicles. A tire changer, totaling $401, a 2002 Ford Expedition for $1,839 and a 1999 Chevrolet Impala for $1,012.

Bailey suggested to the board that they accept a bid for a 14KW generator that totaled $3,678. This number will not include installation, but Bailey suggested, and this was confirmed by Chairman David Hussey, that this was a very reasonable number.

Bailey also brought forward the issue of cable franchising. Alton has a contract with Metrocast that is set to expire in 18 months.

Bailey asked that the board decide how to address renewing the contract. Bailey said that the contract brings in around $40,000 annually.

Hussey suggested that the board address the issue in a public meeting in the future.

Bailey also announced receiving a grant for milfoil in the amount of $4,009.20. In addition, the town also received a donation of $1,431 from the West Alton Marina and a donation of $846 from Alton Bay Conference Center to help in the battle with milfoil.

The board also granted a hawker's license for White Mountain Kettle Corn and accepted the date of May 7 for the Big Lake Half-marathon.

Bob Longabaugh sent an e-mail to Bailey, suggesting that someone from the town join the board at the public access channel.

Bolster volunteered to join the board on an interim basis until someone else can be found.

The Alton Board of Selectmen is scheduled to meet next on Monday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. at the Alton Town Hall.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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