JEFFERSON — Residents approved every proposal put before them in Jefferson’s annual Town Meeting voting Tuesday.

Items approved by voters in secret ballot voting included a proposal to buy a new multi-function fire truck, for about $540,000, to replace two fire trucks built in the late 1980s. An article approving the use of up to $200,000 from the town’s unreserved surplus account and $353,000 from the town’s fire truck reserve account was easily approved by residents in a 134 to 22 vote.

Elections to local office also took place Tuesday. Elected, in uncontested elections were Pamela Grotton to a three-year term on the Board of Selectmen with 143 votes, Wayne Farin, Lisa Hodkins, Blaine Kimball and Bruce Sedwick to three-year terms on the Budget Committee; Danielle Bernier to a two-year term on the School Committee; and Wayne Parlin to a three-year term on the School Committee.

Fire Chief Walter Morris said the fire truck purchase shouldn’t impact the town’s tax rate in large part because Jefferson has been saving money for it annually for years in a reserve account. That account has been building since 2005, the last time the town bought a brand new fire truck. Officials and residents had agreed to put funds into it each year so the town doesn’t have to go into debt to buy the new truck.

Morris said the old trucks that will be replaced by the new one were showing their age and they could no longer get replacement parts for them. One of the old trucks, a 1989 pumper the town bought new, had recently been taken out of service due to mechanical problems. The new truck both carries and pumps water and will be able to carry rescue equipment, Morris said before the election.

Including the fire truck funds, residents approved the expenditure of up to about $1.5 million in funds at Town Meeting. Some of that $1.5 million will come from the town’s surplus account, which is largely made up of funds unspent in previous years, and from state grant funding.

According to the warrant, proposed spending increases include $23,600 more for salaries, at $215,205; $7,800 more for the transfer station, at $95,070; and $2,000 more for auditing, at $20,800.

Voters also approved, by a vote of 120 to 39, a proposal to spend $14,250 to study what parts of town are unserved by high-speed internet and authorize selectmen to accept and spend grant funds the town receives for broadband improvements. An explanation in the warrant notes $8,250 of that money would pay for the creation of accurate maps and other documents showing the areas of town not served by high-speed internet, an infrastructure gap analysis, and network design to fill those gaps. Of that amount, $6,000 would pay for service provider negotiations, including creating a request for proposals to provide high-speed internet to unserved areas of town.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.