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Dorchester Residents OK Town Hall Repairs

Dorchester — All spending articles passed with a voice vote on Saturday, including appropriations that will allow the town to make repairs to Town Hall and create new, digital tax maps.

Voters met at Town Hall and approved the $437,602 budget. They also gave permission to appropriate $15,000 for a new roof and $4,000 for new storm windows for Town Hall.

“Everything was passed by a substantial majority,” Selectboard Chairman Sherman Hallock said. “Everything went smooth. I’m happy.”

The town will also enter into a three-year contract with CAI Technologies to produce digital tax maps, which will cost the town $7,455 for the first three years of payments.

An article also passed that will deposit 5 percent of the Land Use Change Tax revenues into a conservation fund to develop a natural resources inventory, increase public access to the town forest, educate the public on conservation issues and conserve and protect the town’s natural resources.

Residents also approved appropriating money into the town building, bridge and highway equipment maintenance funds.

The town also supported a petitioned article that encouraged a constitutional amendment that clarifies that constitutional rights were established for people, not corporations.

The only articles that did not pass were three petitioned articles, one of which would have made the road agent an elected position instead of appointed. Last year, the town decided to make the road agent position an appointed position, and Hallock said this article was a effort to reverse that decision. It ultimately failed, 55-19.

Residents also opposed a petitioned article that would have prohibited the expenditure of $5,000 or more from the highway and streets account without legally warning a public hearing and requiring three bids.

Another petitioned article asked that the town’s health regulations not be enforced until after they are presented at Town Meeting next year. The Selectboard adopted the regulations in May 2013 and they went into effect in June. The article was not approved.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.