NORRIDGEWOCK — Voters on Monday night approved the purchase of a new $350,000 firetruck for the town and passed the roughly $2.1 million annual budget during the annual Town Meeting.

Residents approved all 43 warrant items in just over an hour of discussion time.

The new budget, which Town Manager Richard LaBelle called relatively flat, represents a $4,500 increase over the current municipal budget. A few dozen residents attended the fast-moving meeting, which was held at the Mill Stream Elementary School on 26 Mercer Road.

The purchase of the firetruck was recommended by the Board of Selectmen and LaBelle. The town’s Budget Committee differed, recommending only $75,000 for a future purchase and wanting to see if grant funding becomes available. LaBelle said the committee had expressed concerns with the turnaround time for delivery of the truck, which could take up to 18 months.

The last time the town bought a firetruck, grant funding aided the purchase. The town’s fire chief, Dave Jones, is requesting that $100,000 be appropriated from the department’s existing capital account and $250,000 be appropriated from the town’s surplus to pay for a new truck.

One resident attempted to have the firetruck vote taken by secret paper ballot, but that was ultimately defeated. Purchasing the new truck was approved overwhelmingly.


Another resident asked if the fire department had done its due diligence to find a truck at a lower price and questioned why the town needed a pump truck that had a cabin that carries five firefighters. A member of the fire department said the existing pump truck, which was built in 1989, could only carry four people and had rust issues. This person also said this purchase would not impact resident taxes.

Purchasing the firetruck caused the most public dialogue.

Four incumbents and a former member were elected to the Board of Selectmen, and a number of other positions were filled on Town Meeting Day.

Chairman Ronald Frederick, Vice Chairman James Lyman, and members Joshua Chartrand and Matthew Everett were all voted back in for another one-year term on the board. Former selectman Sara Wilder defeated incumbent Charlotte Curtis 75 votes to 69. The six candidates were a mirror of last year’s municipal elections.

The only other contested race was on the Board of Tax Assessors, where four individuals ran for three spots. Incumbents Frederick and Wilder were re-elected, and Lyman defeated incumbent Curtis 99-66.

All remaining elections were either uncontested, required write-in candidates or went unfilled.


For a seat on the Board of Directors for School Administrative District 54, write-in candidate Haley Fleming was elected to the three-year term with eight votes. Katherine Wilder was elected to a five-year term on the Board of Library Trustees as a write-in candidate with eight votes.

Other big-ticket items on this year’s warrant include recommendations to appropriate more than $296,000 for the administration department, more than $100,000 for public safety, more than $570,000 for the Public Works Department, more than $73,000 for the capital reserve account, more than $83,000 for debt service on the sewer bond, $60,000 for road overlay projects, and nearly $923,000 of local revenue to reduce the tax commitment.

There were no referendum questions for residents to vote on this year.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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