BURNHAM — Residents voted Saturday to let the selectmen pursue the process of getting an Interstate 95 exit built at Johnson Flat Road, in a Town Meeting vote held at the Reynolds Corner Municipal Building.

While one woman said she lives on Johnson Flat Road and would not want a highway ramp in the area, others thought it might make sense for emergency and economic reasons.

Charles Runnels, a former Clinton police chief, noted that the distance between Clinton and Pittsfield is 12 miles. If county or state police get caught on the interstate and called to Burnham, they could be as far as 8 miles away, he said.

Another resident said the town also has to consider what the increased truck traffic would do to the roads in that area.

George Robison, a newly elected selectman, said one challenge they would face is getting Pittsfield to sign off on the idea as well. It could benefit both towns, though, he said.

“Wherever you get off the Interstate, there’s commerce,” Robison said. “It wouldn’t hurt Burnham to get in on that.”


On Friday, residents voted for a new selectman and highway commissioner by secret ballot. Robison won a three-year term on the Selectboard with 103 votes, beating incumbent Roger Chadwick, who had 96 votes, and Planning Board member Brent Chase, who had 37.

Charlie King was elected highway commissioner with 128 votes, beating incumbent Roger Huff, who had 110 votes.

During the article about appropriating money for town officers’ salaries, the way selectmen are paid — annually, and not per meeting — was brought up.

“Have you adjusted your schedule, George, so you can make more meetings than you did the last time?” Chadwick asked Robison, referring to the previous terms Robison served as selectman.

“I guess I’m not going to comment on that,” Robison said.

One resident noted that the meetings were not the only times selectmen are doing work for the town.


Residents approved most other articles Saturday for the $600,000 budget, though a number of them were changed to provide different amounts of funding.

One of the changed items was the amount of money for striping North Horseback and Basford roads. Huff proposed raising the amount from $2,000 to $4,000 so the highway department could get white lines striped on the side as well as the yellow lines in the middle, at the request of some of the older residents. The amendment for $4,000 was approved.

The town also voted to take no action on appropriating $7,000 for the salt and sand shed reserve account, as the selectmen said they realized they didn’t need the money. There is $17,000 in the account now.

The town also voted to raise $10,000 for insurance purposes instead of the original $16,000, at the request of Selectman Kristy Hapworth. The town’s insurance costs are not that high, she said.

Residents also voted to increase the amount raised for office equipment from $3,000 to $4,500, as the Town Office needs a new printer for receipts. One resident said her accountant could hardly read them when helping her do her taxes.

There was also a long discussion about the Pittsfield Youth Center, but residents ultimately decided to continue taking no action on the organization. The selectmen might look into creating a scholarship fund to pay the $25 families are required to pay if their children want to participate in the center for a summer, playing a sport or doing another activity.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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