Newbury Voters Asked to Buy New Truck

Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, February 24, 2017

NewburyTown Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 7, at 10 a.m. at the Newbury Village Hall to act on 13 articles. Ballot voting for town officers will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Newbury, Vt. — In the past two years, voters at Newbury Town Meeting have rejected proposals that the town should buy an additional fire truck.

But at last year’s meeting voters also asked that the town form a committee to look into financing its purchase.

This year, the fire truck is no longer on the March warning after a special Town Meeting was held this June to approve its purchase.

A $276,000 loan from Wells River Savings Bank, and $151,000 from the town’s equipment reserve fund were used to buy the truck.

Now that the fire truck issue has been resolved, said Selectboard Chair Alma Roystan, voters will be looking at a buying a second-hand pickup truck with a plow and sander for $40,000.

At present the town contracts for that service. To have a pickup truck on hand, rather than having to contract for one’s use, will eliminate that expense, Roystan said.

The Selectboard is also requesting that the voters approve the use of $130,000 from its Highway Equipment Reserve Fund for the purchase of a new plow truck.

Also on the warning is a request for $2,500 from the Vermont Congregational Home for services to town residents: this is the first time that the Home has appeared on the warning as a possible beneficiary of town funds. The Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley is requesting $1,500.

Last year’s budget request for town expenses was $540,200; this year the Selectboard is asking voters to approve $594,00 for the town expenses, which is about a 10 percent increase, said treasurer Mary Collins.

Of that increase, $35,000 goes to payment of the firetruck.

Last year, the municipal tax rate was 57 cents per $100 of valuation.

Collins said she expects the tax rate for the town to increase, but hopes that the tax rate for the highway budget will be the same as last year.

She won’t know the exact figures until after the completion of the grand list assessment in June.

Stephen C. Cole will run again for a three-year-term on the Selectboard while Jean B. Welch is seeking another three-year term as a town auditor.

On the school side, Newbury Elementary School, excluding Wells River Village voters, holds its annual budget meeting on Thursday, May 4.

The Oxbow High School annual budget meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 28, at 8 p.m. at the Oxbow auditorium.

Nicola Smith can be reached at nsmith@vnews.com.