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Castleberry Fairs

Town budget draws little comment from public


January 18, 2012
Budget Committee members received no public comments at their annual public hearing regarding the town budget Thursday, Jan. 12, though about 30 town officials and residents attended the event.

Hearing no requests to address committee members, Chairman Dick Hickok closed the public hearing and called the regular meeting to order.

All those in attendance stayed though the meeting and commented on some specific topics discussed by committee members.

Committee members voted on four new warrant articles, and chose not to support any. Instead, those who voted against the articles said they wanted to leave the issues up to the voters, but as budget committee members, they did could not justify spending additional funds on outside services.

Three petitioned warrant articles were for Community Health and Hospice for $25,000, Genesis Behavioral Health for about $13,000, and Community Action Program for $3,000. All three failed by the same votes, three in favor, eight opposed, with the same members voting for and against for all three articles.

The fourth article, Warrant Article 1a, was introduced by selectmen to raise $150,000 for repairs to Fire Engine Four in the event that the warrant article to purchase the new fire engine is defeated. The Budget Committee did not support this article by a unanimous vote. The Board of Fire Engineers did not support this article, as their recommendation is for the purchase of a new fire engine. The Board of Selectmen had not yet voted on the article.

Before the meeting adjourned, committee member Kevin Leandro made a motion to add $12,800 to the fire department vehicle maintenance line item. He justified the motion by saying the $12,800 was the amount left over from money taken out of the Department of Planning and Land Use.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn explained that he was adding money to the budget because selectmen had already reduced the budget by that amount by taking from the Department of Public works.

The motion failed, once again with three in favor and eight opposed.

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