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Orange Budget Up 3 Percent

Ballot voting for town officers and on an amendment to the town zoning ordinance will be on March 11 at the Orange Town House from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The business meeting on the rest of the warrant will be March 12 at the Town House at 7 p.m.

Orange — The operating budget for Orange is proposed to go up 3 percent, but town officials plan to keep the tax impact minimal.

The $227,264 budget is up $7,433 from the amount voters approved last year, said Bob Proulx, clerk of the budget committee. Orange came in well under budget last year, spending about $13,500 less than planned. Officials intend to stay under budget for this year, he said, and could use last year’s surplus to alleviate the burden on taxpayers.

“We do every year,” he said.

There may be a slight increase to Orange’s municipal tax rate, which is $2.50 per $1,000 of a home’s assessed value, but Proulx said the increase would be “negligible.”

Other money articles on this year’s warrant include allocations to various capital reserve funds that total $9,500. The individual funds include highway, town house, roads, document preservation, cemetery, and $3,000 for Orange’s revaluation next year. Article five allocates $27,602 to build and maintain class 4 and 5 highways, but that expense is offset by a block grant that is included in the budget.

Voters also will consider an amendment to the zoning ordinance that would expand the definition of “junk yard” to include scrapped metal, machines and debris as well as cars. The current ordinance focuses only on automobiles.

The change aligns Orange’s definition with New Hampshire law, Proulx said.

“This one is more expansive,” he said. “It includes other kinds of junk besides motor vehicles.”

Dorothy Heinrichs is not seeking re-election to her three-year seat on the Selectboard. Patricia Mercer is on the ballot and Don Pfaefflin is running as a write-in candidate.

Chris Fleisher can be reached at 603-727-3229 or cfleisher@vnews.com.

CORRECTION

Patricia Mercer is on the ballot for a three-year seat on the Orange Selectboard and Don Pfaefflin is running as a write-in candidate. An earlier version of this story was incorrect on the candidates for the seat.