TOWNSHEND -- Town Meeting voters approved nearly $1.4 million in school expenses and more than $1.3 million in town and highway-related spending on Tuesday.
They also agreed to allocate $85,000 for a new highway truck.
But the one sticking point in a relatively quiet Town Meeting day was a much smaller allocation: An article requesting $5,000 for study of a new transfer station and recycling facility was defeated.
Nonetheless, Selectboard members say they'll have to move forward with that study in some fashion because the town's current trash equipment is aging and inadequate.
"It's going to push more of the work onto a volunteer committee," Selectboard member David Dezendorf said. "We're going to have to see if we can get an estimate of what the engineering is going to cost."
Dezendorf said the matter may have to be brought to a special Town Meeting.
"It can't wait until next year," he said. "The compactor is failing."
Selectboard member Hedy Harris said that compactor "is more than 20 years old and falling apart." Replacing it could cost $180,000, and Harris has said some officials "feel we would do much better with a different kind of compactor and a different arrangement."
Officials also have said the town's recycling options should be expanded, but there is no space to do so.
Harris said she may not have adequately explained the situation before Tuesday's vote. Though $5,000 would not cover
"It just seemed like a good idea to have a little fund to work with," Harris said. "Most of the study is being done by volunteers."
However, Harris said discussion accompanying the vote was instructive.
"That was very helpful in trying to determine where to go with this plan," she said.
In other Town Meeting business:
-- Voters, via a paper ballot, approved $10,000 to be placed in reserve for future purchase of a fire department pumper. Voters also approved placing $5,000 in a fire pond reserve account and $5,000 in a stone arch bridge reserve account.
-- Harris, who has been serving as the Selectboard's chairwoman, was re-elected to a three-year term. She said she wants to continue working on the transfer station, rehabilitating the town hall and identifying and mapping Townshend's ancient roads in accordance with a state mandate.
"One of the reasons I was interested in staying on was, we still have a lot of work to do on ancient roads," Harris said.
Also elected to the Selectboard was current member Chad Greenwood and new member Scott Chase. Both will serve one-year terms.
Leaving the board is Jeff Russ, who served a total of 14 years.
-- A sampling of voting on other town offices: Anita Bean was re-elected as town clerk, while Joe Daigneault received nods for town treasurer and property-tax collector and Becky Nystrom was re-elected as delinquent tax collector.
The listers are Dick Lucier, who was elected to a three-year term, and Steve Lott and Paula Newton, who received one-year terms. The moderator is David Liebow.
-- Re-elected to the School Board were April Chase, who received a three-year term, and Brian Schmidt and Kim Liebow, both of whom will serve one-year terms.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.