CORNVILLE — Voters at the annual Town Meeting on Saturday shaved $59,000 from proposed spending on roads this year and agreed to take $225,000 from surplus to offset taxes in the general budget.

At the request of Cornville Road Commissioner Myron Moody, residents dropped spending for winter roads from the original $135,000 to $110,000, and in the same article raised the amount for summer roads from $75,000 to $85,000.

Moody and First Selectman Melvin Blaisdell said the town hired a private contractor last year to plow half of the town roads. Now that the town is doing all of its own work, and with a proposed purchase of new plow truck, the cost of winter roads will be significantly less, they said.

With some opposition, residents agreed in a subsequent article to buy the new plow truck for up to $30,000.

A proposal to spend $88,000 to pave the Cornville end of Hilton Hill Road was cut in half, to $44,000. Moody said the paving contractor recommended using just a base coat on the three-quarter-mile stretch, then putting on the final top coat in three or four years.

“You’re still going to have a good road,” Moody said. “You’d think you have a new road. It’s better to let it set for a few years.”

Others, including some residents of Hilton Hill Road, which is a dead end, wondered if simply using a base coat would be a waste of money. They asked whether the work would fill the existing holes and remain solid until the final coat was added.

Resident Carol Gould said a base coat is used in woods operations, supporting even heavy timber loads.

“It’s a good surface and takes out all the rough spots, and you end up with a really nice road,” Gould said.

Moody said the job was put out to bid by the ton, not as a lump-sum job. He said if culverts have to be replaced, that will come out of the summer roads account.

Voters agreed, with some opposition, to approve the $44,000.

Residents also agreed to raise $179,193 as the second of five payments on a general road paving loan and to take $30,000 for highway equipment, with the unspent balance going into the Highway Equipment Fund. Voters also decided to take $36,000 from surplus to balance the 2012 winter roads account.

The new municipal budget for the coming year comes in at about $503,000, up from the 2012 budget of $432,000.

Blaisdell reminded residents that spending proposed at the annual Town Meeting accounts only for the municipal side of the town budget and does not include spending for schools or the county tax.

He said there was still uncertainty about whether the town will get all of its state revenue-sharing money after the governor vowed to cut it from the state budget. Cornville received about $100,000 in revenue-sharing last year.

The current tax rate is $16.60 for every $1,000 of property valuation.

There were no contested races on the Friday election ballot. Fifty-five people showed up for the Town Meeting, which lasted 51 minutes.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

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