UNITY — Residents voted to allow selectmen to take out a $250,000 bond to fund the building of a Town Office when they gathered for the annual Town Meeting on Saturday.

They also approved raising $405,114 in property taxes to fund the 2013 municipal budget and spend up to $20,000 of surplus to revise the town’s comprehensive plan.

The amount to be raised from property taxes is about $64,000 less than in 2012, according to Town Clerk Sue Lombard, but more has been appropriated from surplus in this year’s budget.

People lined up to speak about the office project and road maintenance during the nearly five-hour meeting at Unity Elementary School.

The bond money for the Town Office will contribute to $627,854 in outstanding bonds and an overall debt, including interest, of $917,121.

Among residents’ concerns were that the office project would cost more than $250,000 and that money from road maintenance would have to be diverted to cover the costs.

Selectman Clem Blakney said the time frame for the project is imminent.

“We can’t take advantage of staying here forever,” he said.

The Town Office is in the elementary school, where it moved temporarily in 2011 after being notified of a significant rent increase in the building the town was leasing at Clifford Common.

He also said the cost of road maintenance has gone up, especially because the town has a lot more paved roads than it did in the past.

Many residents said they are unhappy with Farley & Sons Inc., the company the town has contracted for winter road maintenance, and as a result, Blakney said, a road commission will be forming.

He said selectmen will review complaints and consider holding a special town meeting to discuss road maintenance and possibly breaking the contract with the current company.

This is the first year the town has used Farley & Sons, Blakney said.

“We will be proceeding on this issue. It is clear we have to review it,” he said.

On Saturday, residents approved a $286,511 budget for summer road maintenance and a $177,000 budget for winter road maintenance.

They also voted to spend up to $20,000 from surplus for reviewing the current land use ordinance and updating the town’s comprehensive plan. The plan has not been updated since 2003, Blakney said.

In elections, Chris Rossignol defeated Jean Bourg for a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen. Rossignol received 163 votes; Bourg, 143.

Kevin Spigel was re-elected to the board of the Unity Utility District Board of Trustees.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368
[email protected]

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