NEW VINEYARD — Voters approved a 4.4 percent budget increase and re-elected their road commissioner Saturday at the Town Meeting.
The $411,684 included $17,000 more in winter road maintenance than the year before, but otherwise most line items in the warrant were flat-budgeted from the previous year.
The town anticipates a tough year, according to Board of Selectmen Chairman Fay Adams, and the budget was “no frills.”
The New Vineyard property tax rate for 2013 was $12.50 per $1,000 of valuation, or $1,250 for a property valued at $100,000. Taxpayers won’t know the final rate until the school district and the county taxes are finalized.
Last year, 51 percent of property taxes, or $536,148, went to the Mt. Blue School District; and 6.7 percent, or $70,172, went to the Franklin County budget.
Adams was re-elected to her seat after an uncontested vote. Road Commissioner Earl Luce also was re-elected to his position, beating Tony Nile, 43-29.
Nominations for elected positions are taken from the floor New Vineyard Town Meetings, and no one in the room initially accepted a nomination for two open seats on the town’s three-person Planning Board.
After silence and repeated calls for volunteers, Lindsay Jackson asked to be nominated; and Nile said he would accept a nomination for the last open seat.
Adams said this year’s budget includes only a partial recycling budget because the town’s contractor, the Sandy River Recycling Association, is scheduled to dissolve by July 1. Adams said the town is shopping for recycling options, and she encouraged residents to let the selectmen know about any options they would like the town to pursue.
“It’s pretty important. We don’t want to not recycle,” she said.
The budget did not include a request for funding for additional work on Barker Road. Selectman Niilo Sillanpaa said he and Selectman Frank Forster were researching whether the reconstruction work done so far was done correctly, and they did not want to ask the town for more money on the project until they came to a conclusion.
Sillanpaa said the portion of the road that was worked on earlier last year is already showing cracking and selectmen are consulting with engineers to see if the cracks are a sign of poor road work.
Residents also approved $1,000 for the town to work on updating its Comprehensive Plan, which is a directive for the town’s future and is used when applying for grants and certain state funding.
Kaitlin Schroeder — firstname.lastname@example.org