RANDOLPH — With little discussion, Randolph residents voted Wednesday at Town Meeting to create a dangerous-building account and to seed it with $10,000.

The 33 voters assembled in Teresa C. Hamlin School also easily passed the rest of the warrant articles that make up the $2,082,642 spending plan for the town; and they agreed to make a few changes, including shrinking the size the Budget Committee.

For nearly a year, town officials have been trying to compel the owners of 21 Kinderhook St. to fix the vacant, deteriorating house, After taking the matter to court, the town won a judgment against the owners and $71,000, but it’s not clear that the town ever will receive the money. Mark Roberts, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the dedicated fund is needed so whatever money the town receives, such as fees or judgments stemming from dangerous buildings, would stay in the fund from year to year and be available to pay costs associated with taking care of dangerous buildings, including engineering and demolition.

Voters also approved paying $40,000 for the next step in putting together a plan for a proposed fire station.

The town already owns a site on Kinderhook Street, and a contract is in place, paid for by $25,000 appropriated at Town Meeting a year ago, to figure what the town wants and needs, Roberts said, Once that’s done, and the design is paid for by money voters approved Wednesday, the town will have an opinion of probable cost,

“We can’t go out for a loan until we have the conceptual design, so then we’ll have to come to the town to appropriate the money,” Roberts said. “We did a soil density test, and the fire station will work there.”


Michael Carrie, chairman of the Budget Committee, said that as presented in the warrant, the proposed spending increases would raise the town’s tax rate from $18 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $18.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. A couple of amendments to increase spending by $9,000 is not expected to have a big effect on the tax rate.

Residents questioned the wisdom of allowing selectmen to enter into contracts of up to three years, mostly out of concern about getting locked into snowplowing contracts.

Roberts said the article applies to all contracts, not just plowing. “Oftentimes we get a better deal if we get a three-year contract,”

Janet Richards, town treasurer and tax collector, said contracts for photocopiers leasing and service tend to be for two or three years.

With little comment, voters approved articles paying for fixing Closson Street, and routine matters such as salaries and benefits for the town staff, socking money away for the future purchase of a firetruck and a public works truck, and continuing to pay for the town newsletter and website, among other things.

The Town Meeting also drew two candidates for elected office — Democrat Shenna Bellows, who is running for the Senate District 14 seat; and Ken Mason, an independent who is running for Kennebec County sheriff.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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