ANSON — Residents voted at their annual Town Meeting on Saturday afternoon to buy a new firetruck.

They also approved a total municipal budget of $1,580,487, which is $1,417, or 0.08 percent, more than last year’s.

About 65 people attended the two-hour meeting at Garret Schenck Elementary School.

In elections earlier in the morning, residents approved of adding two newcomers to the five-member Board of Selectmen.

Brenda Garland received 61 votes to write-in candidate Clarence Ayotte’s two votes, for a three-year term. Phil Turner received 69 votes to current Selectman Doug Cahill’s 19 votes, for a one-year term. Cahill ran as a write-in candidate.

Incumbent John Bryant won re-election for three years with 76 votes, defeating Cahill, who also received 19 write-in votes for that seat.

Residents spent the most time at the meeting discussing whether to buy the firetruck for up to $395,000. Selectmen recommended that $20,000 come from taxation and $375,000 come from the Fire Department’s reserve account.

“Can’t you find something a little bit cheaper than this?” resident Marie Greenleaf said.

Fire Chief Jeremy Manzer said the department got bids from manufacturers that ranged from $350,000 to $460,000.

“The money that we’re asking for is for the cheapest truck that met all of our needs,” he said. He added that the truck would serve well “not only for the Fire Department, but for everybody in the town.”

“The money that we’re asking for is for the cheapest truck that met all of our needs,” he said. He added that the truck would serve well “not only for the Fire Department, but for everybody in the town.”

Some residents said they didn’t think it was the right time to buy a new truck.

“There are other firetrucks that can be bought for less money,” resident Sylvia Bartlett said. “This is not the time to raise taxes. … There are a number of people in this town that aren’t able to pay taxes.”

“This is a 25-to-30-year investment,” said Bill Garland, a former fire chief and ambulance director in town. “If you spread it out that way, the initial amount for each year isn’t as bad.”

Cahill said, “I have a concern of draining the reserve.”

The measure, which ultimately passed, will result in replacement of a truck from 1988. The town has two from that year, but the other one is in better condition, Manzer said.

Residents heeded the advisory board’s recommendation to pay $100,000 for door-to-door trash pickup.

Selectmen had proposed that residents pay trash haulers directly, instead of having trash removal paid for by the town.

It was the third straight year in which residents rejected the board’s recommendation on trash hauling.

Residents also allocated $2,500 for Madison-Anson Days, even though selectmen recommended no amount.

“I haven’t felt that Anson has gotten much out of this celebration,” Bryant said. “The parade starts here. That’s it.”

No one from Anson sits on the committee that organizes the event. If they did, he said, he would be more likely to support funding the celebration.

 

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