CHINA — Selectmen on Monday narrowly agreed to recommend creating a new part-time town librarian position, as they firmed up spending requests ahead of the March 24 annual town meeting.

The Library Services Committee is asking for $13,478 to hire a town librarian beginning Jan. 1, 2013. Committee Vice Chairman Jonathan Vogel said the new position would help expand library services townwide.

Selectmen had questions about the librarian’s relationship with China’s two existing libraries — in South China and China Village — and committee member Kathy Glenn-Lewin said a job description could be developed before next year.

The library expenditure was recommended on a 3-2 vote, with Joann Austin, Irene Belanger and board Chairman Peter Foote in the majority. Steven Hughes and MacDonald cast the two dissenting votes.

Selectmen also discussed Planning Board Chairman Ronald Breton’s proposed $8,200 budget, which is up $700 from the current year’s request.

The board is allowed to carry forward any unspent money to create a reserve fund of up to $8,000. Breton said there was a carry-over last year, but it’s too early to predict this year’s final figure.

Selectman Paul MacDonald objected to the board being allowed both to have a reserve fund and to increase its annual spending request. If more money is needed, the board should take the money from its reserve, he said.

No other selectman agreed, however, and the Planning Board request was recommended by a 4-1 vote.

Selectmen have not yet made recommendations on the annual list of fund requests from social service agencies.

A committee consisting of four selectmen and two or three Budget Committee members is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the Town Office to review the list before Monday’s 7 p.m. selectmen’s meeting.

The rest of the proposed 2012-13 municipal budget is ready for Budget Committee recommendations before voters make the final decisions in March.

Two other expenditures were discussed briefly Monday.

* Selectmen unanimously voted to recommend $3,000 less than requested for emergency services. Their goal is to eliminate the proposed $3,000 for reimbursement for China Rescue members for using their private vehicles on rescue calls.

* The $2,500 for China Community Days was approved unanimously after Belanger called for revitalization of the planning committee for the celebration. She volunteered to chair the committee, and Hughes volunteered to serve.

Before beginning budget review, selectmen again heard Neck Road resident Beth Preston’s proposal to start a teen center in the basement of the old town house beside the Town Office.

Preston first talked with them in June 2011, hoping to open the center last summer.

Selectmen still don’t know whether the center would be a town operation or a private project on town property. They asked Preston to talk a second time with Recreation Committee members to determine whether the center could come under the recreation program.


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