CHINA — The Board of Selectmen has readied eight articles that residents will decide on Nov. 8 though board members disagreed on three of those proposals.

Now the budget committee will vote on whether to recommend the proposed articles at the Town Office at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Among the eight drafted articles are proposals to change the land use ordinance, appropriate funds to create a Transfer Station Capital and Equipment Account, give additional money to police services and appropriate $100,000 to the Municipal Capital and Equipment Account. Residents will also vote to elect three selectmen, three planning board members, four budget committee members and one director for Regional School Unit 18.

Selectmen met Monday night to complete and sign the warrant, while also removing and replacing one proposed article. The article proposed purchasing property on Causeway Road, but the seller was asking a price much higher than the selectmen thought was right, said Town Manager Dan L’Heureux.

The selectmen voted unanimously to pass all but three articles. One of those rejected articles proposed selling a portable classroom the town bought for $1 to the South China Public Library for $1, plus the moving costs. If approved, the offer would be valid for 60 days after the town vote.

Selectmen Neil Farrington and Robert MacFarland both voted against the article, which still passed 3-2.

L’Heureux said the town doesn’t have a need for the building at this time, and that if the library, a nonprofit organization, bought it they would only want to recoup the costs.

Another article proposes using $50,000 from tax increment financing funds to maintain trails for the China Four Seasons Club Trails Program, as well as to repair bridge. It was approved 4-1 with Selectman Joann Austin opposed.

The town also is proposing to move $100,000 from the unrestricted fund balance, which currently has more than $1 million, to the municipal capital and equipment account, which makes major capital repairs and buys vehicles for town operations like snowplowing and grading. This article was approved 5-0.

The select board is proposing the town create a capital and equipment account specifically for the Transfer Station using Palermo’s annual $18,000 contribution to the station. Palermo’s residents have an agreement to use the China Transfer Station for 17 years. The new account would be for major capital purchases and building and equipment repairs, and the select board would have to vote to approve any use of funds.

“The town is looking at long-term capital needs for the transfer station, and the annual contribution will allow for the complete capital needs of the transfer station going forward, thus not demanding additional taxpayer funds,” L’Heureux said.

Other articles include putting $5,000 from the unrestricted fund balance toward police services, using $3,800 from the unrestricted fund balance to conduct a community assessment of the challenges older residents face while aging in China, accepting a gift of land from Wachusett Properties Inc., buying land behind the Town Office for $12,000 and approving amendments to both the solid waste flow and disposal ordinances.

Madeline St. Amour – 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour


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