Springfield, N.H., Voters Asked to Buy New Truck

Town officials will be elected by Australian Ballot from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday at Springfield Town Hall. The business portion of Town Meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 15.

Springfield, n.h. — Voters will be asked to approve the purchase of a replacement truck for the highway department and to choose among three candidates for a Selectboard seat at Town Meeting on Tuesday.

The town is requesting to borrow $99,000 for the truck.

The expected price is $151,000, and the warning article calls for $52,000 to be taken from the town’s unreserved fund balance.

The first loan payment of $14,352 would be due this summer and take three years to pay off.

“The appeal of the truck is that it can plow, but it is a size that (makes it) very versatile in the summer,” said Selectboard Chairman Don Hill. “It is the most versatile truck in the fleet.”

The truck would replace a current vehicle in the town fleet.

“We’re going with a new one,” Hill said. “They’re very difficult to find used.”

The proposed general municipal operations budget is just over $1.2 million, similar to last year’s spending.

“Our budget is essentially flat,” Callaway said.

Last year, the Selectboard reduced taxes by applying $50,000 from the unreserved fund balance to the budget, which slashed 25 cents from the property tax rate.

“If we can do it again this fall, we’d like to do it,” Callaway said.

The current town property tax rate of $4 translates into an annual tax bill of $1,000 on a $250,000 property.

If the Selectboard is unable to apply $50,000 to offset the rate again this year, the tax rate would be $4.25, which translates to an annual tax bill of $1,062.50 on a $250,000 property. Residents will be informed of the tax rate in September, Callaway said.

Also on the warrant is $40,000 proposal for exterior work to Town Hall. The work would include painting and improvements to a handicap ramp and a fire escape, Callaway said. The money for the repairs will come from the unreserved fund balance, which currently stands at $642,327.

The unreserved fund balance also will be tapped for $60,000 for a town-wide property revaluation, which the state requires towns to conduct about every five years, Callaway said.

The warrant also asks residents to approve the transfer of $3,440 from the unreserved fund balance to the Old Home Day Expendable Trust fund.

Contested Race

Hill, who has been on the Selectboard for six years, is being challenged by William T. Huntoon and John Trachy.

“I love this town and the people I work with serving on the Board of Selectmen,” Hill said. “It has been a real treat to be part of the process.”

Huntoon, who has lived in town for more than 20 years, serves on the Budget Committee and has previously run for Selectboard.

“Things just need to be changed,” Huntoon said, adding that town employees need to be held more accountable .

Trachy, a Springfield resident for 25 years, wants to better utilize the town’s website and find ways to encourage a better sense of community among residents.

“I think there’s things that could be done differently in our town,” Trachy said. “There is a perception in town that some people are being treated differently than others, and I’d like to promote more equal treatment.”

There are no other contested races on the ballot.

Springfield is part of the Kearsarge Regional School District. Voting on the propsosed $38.9 million school budget, a 4.4 percent increase over last year’s, will also be held Tuesday.

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3305.