GRAFTON -- Voters will get an opportunity at Town Meeting to authorize their local government to use the excess surplus in the budget for the construction of a new town garage.
Adoption of Article 15 would allow the town to apply up to $300,000 to the project, which will replace the building damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. Citizens voted 17-1 at a special meeting on Monday, Dec. 16, to accept a grant to move the location of the garage and construct a new one on a portion of 72 acres of town-owned land on Bell Road. Grafton Town Clerk Kim Record said the money comes from FEMA reimbursement to the town.
The day after approving the grant, residents voted 46-30 via Australian ballot to move forward on the project that comes with an estimated cost not to exceed $1.2 million with interest. Record told the Reformer the garage will be used to store trucks and other town equipment. When asked what would happen if town voters rejected Article 15, Record replied, "We'll cross the bridge when we get to it."
Town Meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Grafton Elementary School on Tuesday, March 4. Election of all town and school district officers will take place via Australian ballot. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Article 4 asks voters if they will approve the Athens/Grafton Joint Contract School District budget of $1,461,609 (including $500 in compensation for each school director) for kindergarten through sixth grade. Adoption of Article would raise and appropriate $989,427 (including $750 for the town treasurer) for the education of the town school district's students in kindergarten through eighth grade from between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015.
If Article 6 is adopted, $139,000 would be raised for the capital budget. According to the town warrant, that figure would be broken down into $100,000 for equipment, $14,000 for the roadway program, $10,000 for highway structures and $15,000 for the fire truck.
Article 7 asks voters to raise $480,960 for the maintenance of the highways and bridges while adoption of Article 8 would generate $228,165 for the selectmen's budget. Passage of Article 9 would raise $9,000 for ambulance service and Article 10 asks voters to approve raising $23,000 for the operating budget of the firemen's association.
Grafton Rescue Squad would receive $8,000 for its operating expenses if Article 11 is adopted and $8,241 would be split among 13 organizations under Article 12.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.