HINSDALE, N.H. -- A vote roughly 30 years in the making will take place at Town Meeting next week.
A nearly $1.1 million article for constructing a new police station is the first of 23 articles on the town warrant to be decided by acclamation on Saturday, March 16.
Adoption of Article 2 (the warrant's first article pertains to the election of town officials the Tuesday before) will raise and appropriate $1,087,636 for the project, with $75,000 coming from an expendable trust fund established specifically for that purpose and $239,636 out of the Wal-Mart Development Agreement Fund. The agreement fund, earmarked for public safety expenses, was set up following negotiations between the town and Wal-Mart when the international retail giant built the Supercenter store on Route 119.
A vote in the affirmative will also authorize the Hinsdale Board of Selectmen to borrow not more than $773,000 in bonds or notes in accordance with state law to take care of any remaining costs.
The article needs a two-thirds majority to become adopted. It is recommended 4-1 by the Board of Selectman and 7-2 by the town's budget committee. If it passes, town officials will move forward with plans to construct a new police station on Main Street.
Resident Lewis Major owned the building at 8-10 Main St., which housed a convenience store and an uninhabited apartment, but donated it to the town after it was severely damaged in a fire in August.
Town Administrator Jill Collins said if the article is rejected, voters will be asked later in the meeting to approve $75,000 for the New Police Station Fund. The $38,000 will come from the Wal-Mart fund if Article 9 is adopted.
The next article on the town warrant asks if voters will approve of a $3,369,439 budget for general operating expenses -- a $2,152-hike from the current year's budget. The increase is primarily the result of a shifting of some administrative positions and responsibilities. The article, like all the rest of them on the warrant, requires a majority vote.
In the proposed budget, there is an increase of nearly $60,000 for the police department budget, which Budget Committee member Bruce Belville told the Reformer is mostly due to the town having to pay more into the state retirement fund.
Adoption of Article 4 would raise and appropriate $459,198 for the Hinsdale Water Department while Article 5 seeks $339,963 for the sewer treatment plant.
If Article 6 is adopted, $80,000 would be appropriated to purchase a utility and rescue vehicle for the town's fire department. According to the article, $50,000 of that sum will come from the Capital Reserve set up for that purpose while $30,000 comes from tax funds. Adoption of the article would also give the selectmen the authorization to apply for federal and state grants to help offset the amount to be paid by taxes.
Article 8 asks residents to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter a $74,726-, five-year lease agreement for a Ford F550 to be used by the highway department and to appropriate $16,667 for the first year's payment of the vehicle.
Adoption of Article 19 will raise and appropriate $15,500 to continue bus service along the Route 119 corridor from Hinsdale to Brattleboro, Vt., and Article 22 looks to add $5,000 to the Community Center Building Improvement Fund already established.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.