Thursday May 16, 2013

BELLOWS FALLS -- Voters will meet at the Bellows Falls Opera House on Monday to have their voices heard on the articles warned for the annual village meeting.

There are eight articles residents will act on Monday night, before casting votes via Australian ballot to elect village officers between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday. Village Meeting is set to start at 7 p.m., Monday.

Article 3 asks voters to authorize its treasurer to borrow money, with the approval of the village trustees, from time to time, in anticipation of tax collection or payment of money due the village from Vermont or the federal government.

Adoption of Article 4 would establish a $1,945,357 budget (with $1,864,482 to be raised by taxes) for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2013, and ending on June 30, 2014. The village's current budget is $1,801,538, with $1,696,434 to be raised by taxes.

Village President Roger Riccio, in the annual report, stated he believes the proposed budget is a fiscally-responsible one and represents a great deal of thought to both village taxpayers and village infrastructure.

"This is our home and we should move forward, not backwards," he writes. "It is important that everyone feel safe walking our streets and be proud to be a member of this community. We live in a beautiful village and should do everything in our power to see that it remains this way."

Rockingham Finance Director/Interim Municipal Manager Chip Stearns said he is happy with the proposed budget, which went through all proper avenues.

"Now it's up to the voters," he told the Reformer.

Article 5 asks voters if they wish to authorize the trustees to borrow up to $30,000 for not more than a three-year term for the purchase of a vehicle for the Bellows Falls Police. Adoption of Article 6 would raise and appropriate $1,500 to help create, support and operate community gardens within the village.

A sum of $13,000 will be raised and appropriated to enforce the Unsafe Building Ordinance if Article 7 is adopted.

Adoption of Articles 9 and 10 would authorize the dissolution of the Mary J Arms Fund and the Sarah Burr Howard Fund, respectively, and apply the full value of the funds to the Greater Rockingham Area Services loan with the Rockingham Revolving Loan Fund.

The revolving loan helps businesses in the town get started and replenishes and strengthens itself with the interest charged.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.