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At Town Meeting Saturday Road Agent Kent Perry

explained a $5,000 appropriation to buy a gravel pit on

School House Road." Michael Cleveland photo
Sunday, March 18, 2012

Budget, gravel pit approved at Lyndeborough Town Meeting

LYNDEBOROUGH – Two warrant articles dealing with capital reserve funds for repair and replacement of bridges caused considerable confusion at Saturday’s Town Meeting.

But everything on the warrant was eventually approved with mostly with little or no comment from the 50 people at the two-hour meeting at Citizen’s Hall.

The operating budget of $1,565,507 also was approved without comment after a short explanation by Town Administrator Burton Reynolds.

Among the warrants voters approved were the purchase of a gravel pit in North Lyndeborough for $5,000; the repair of a small garage on Center Road for Emergency Management storage, ($6,000, with half to come from emergency funds); repairs to the Town Hall roof supports ($10,000); and the lease-purchase of new air packs for the Fire Department for an initial payment of $18,730. Future payments will be included in the operating budget.

The bridge fund confusion came from it being addressed in two articles.

Article 5 asked that the “Gulf Road Bridge Capital Reserve Fund” be renamed “Bridge Repair/Replacement Capital Reserve Fund.” The wording was amended to include the word “build.”

The Gulf Road Bridge project already was completed, and selectmen said any money left could not be spent on another project without the name change.

Article 21 called for $50,000 to be added to the existing “Bridge Repair/Replacement Capital Reserve Fund.” This was also amended to include “build” because the immediate object of the fund is to replace the Johnson’s Corner Bridge, which currently is a large culvert, with a real bridge.

The $50,000 is the first part of the town’s share of the bridge replacement when the state schedules the work. Most of the cost is covered through Federal Emergency Management Hazard Mitigation Funds.

When asked about the action on Article 5, Reynolds agreed the Gulf Road Fund could simply be closed and remaining funds could be placed in a new, more generic fund.

“We’ll clean that up next year,” he said.

Two amendments were offered to change the wording of Article 21, but as more confusion resulted, Moderator Walter Holland suggested the meeting “break for lunch while the experts discuss this.”

Following the break, Selectman Kevin Boette said the new plan was to “scrap the amendments, just add money to the fund, and next year make the changes to the names.”

He said, since the bridge work is not scheduled before next year, it will not affect the FEMA grant.

Thanks also were extended to Sally Reynolds, who has retired after many years as a Trustee of Trust Funds, and to Richard Howe, who served as building inspector for 30 years.