BRIGHTON PLANTATION — Voters at the Town Meeting Saturday will be asked to join with Somerset County and neighboring Kingsbury Plantation to share expenses on the construction of a sand and salt shed and to borrow $265,000 to do so.
The business meeting and election of officers from the floor of the meeting is set for 10 a.m. at the Town Office.
In a separate vote not associated with the town meeting, residents at 9 a.m. will be asked to raise $104,000 to send Brighton Plantation children to the Athens Elementary School and to high school. There are eight school-age children in Brighton, two of whom attend high school.
First Selectwoman Joanne Goodridge said the sand and salt shed would be built in Brighton, on Wellington Road near the transfer station, where there is land available and access to electrical power. She said the work has to be done now before the window closes on state reimbursement for the project.
Sand and salt previously was stored on land owned by Farrin Bros. & Smith of Brighton, a company that was contracted to plow and sand local roads. Farrin Bros. had taken care of local roads for more than 60 years, before company owners retired, Goodridge said.
Of the $265,000 to be borrowed at 2 percent over 10 years, Brighton would initially have to come up with about $110,637, but the final cost after state reimbursement would be about $28,000. For Kingsbury, the up front cost would be $94,207. After state reimburse they also would pay $28,000.
Somerset County’s share of the cost comes because Mayfield Township also is included in the deal and is not an organized town or plantation. The cost to the county would be $60,155 before state reimbursement. The final cost to the county would be zero, according to Town Meeting documents.
“We don’t want to take the chance on losing out on state funds,” Goodridge said. “They are dissolving the program for reimbursement for sand and salt sheds this year. The size that we need for three of us is pretty large.”
Voters will asked to spend $15,000 this year for their share of the cost.
Municipal spending for the coming year if all articles are passed as written is $140,360, up from the $112,160 approved by voters at last year’s annual Town Meeting. The tax rate currently sits at $12.50 for every $1,000 in property valuation. Goodridge said some of the increase can be taken from surplus money.
Voters during the meeting will be asked to raise to give a $500 raise to the first selectman, $1,000 for the continued upkeep of the Brighton Village Church and $18,000 for administrative expenses. Residents also will be asked to raise and appropriate $15,000 for summer roads, $57,000 for winter roads and to use $19,201 in state Department of Transportation reimbursement funds for the Winding Hill and hot top projects.
Voters also will be asked if they want to move the annual Town Meeting from March to June to more closely coincide with the school budget and the county budget.