×

Lyme voters approve 4 vehicles and $2.35 million budget

  • Selectman Kevin Sahr hold the door to the Lyme School as voters arrive for Town Meeting in Lyme, N.H., Tuesday, March 12, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Moderator Kevin Peterson calls on a voter to speak during Town Meeting debate over borrowing money to purchase vehicles for the Lyme, N.H., fire, police and highway departments, at the Lyme School Tuesday, March 12, 2019. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Cole Williams, of the Lyme, N.H., Highway Department, stowed his floor vote ballots in his pants cuff during debate at Town Meeting in the Lyme School Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Following a year in which the department worked to re-open a section of River Road and repair damage from a major storm last July, voters approved the purchase of an excavator and a plow truck with a wing plow. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • After casting her ballot in a Town Meeting vote on whether to borrow money to purchase a pumper truck for the Lyme, N.H., Fire Department, Jill Muntz pauses in the gym at the Lyme School, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. Muntz spent a portion of the meeting knitting a a comfort shawl to be given to someone in need through a program at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Hanover. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lyme, N.H., voters Jack Elliott, left, and Horace Henriques listen closely as an article to appropriate money toward the purchase of an excavator and a plow truck with capital reserve funds for a total of $285,000 comes to the floor at Town Meeting at the Lyme School Tuesday, March 12, 2019. The appropriations were approved by voters even though earlier articles to take out loans to buy the two pieces of equipment failed to pass. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Lyme Voters approve 4 vehiclesand $2.35 million budget

LYME — Voters approved a $2.35 million municipal budget and the purchase of four vehicles during the floor portion of Town Meeting on Tuesday.

The budget, which passed on a voice vote, marks a 4.5 percent increase from last year’s approved budget.

A point of contention at the meeting was how the purchases of the vehicles — a fire truck, police truck, excavator and 1½-ton truck — would be financed.

The Selectboard laid out several options for each piece of equipment: taking out a loan from Mascoma Bank with a fixed interest rate of about 3 percent or purchasing the vehicles outright from the vehicle capital reserve fund and the heavy equipment reserve fund.

A motion to buy a new fire truck and a new police truck using loans passed by more than a two-thirds paper ballot vote, which is what’s required by state law if a municipality is entering into a long-term financing agreement.

The fire truck costs $518,000. Fire Chief Michael Mund said the prices of fire trucks have risen quickly in the last year.

“In the summer we had the tariff wars, and (the) fabricators were having trouble getting the supplies they needed,” Mund said.

The financing option for the excavator and 1½-ton truck was initially defeated, but voters later approved those purchases using capital reserve funds, for a total of $285,000, on an 85-42 vote.

Steven Williams, Lyme’s road agent, found a different excavator in January that cost about $24,000 less than the originally proposed $179,000.

“We found a better machine; it has more horsepower,” Williams said.

Voters also approved spending for road repairs on Baker Hill and Dorchester and Goose Pond roads.

Toward the end of the meeting, Selectboard member Kevin Sahr brought up the costs of recycling. Lyme pays about $25,000 a year to recycle 200 tons of zero-sort recyclables.

“Should we continue to recycle?” Sahr asked.

The Selectboard wanted to gauge what residents thought.

After some discussion about reducing the use of plastics and reusing items more often, there was a unanimous, non-binding voice vote that recycling should continue.

But some residents expressed a desire to change how recycling is done in town, with residents dropping off their paper and plastics at the transfer station only for them to be sorted again later.

“I really don’t like the system we have now. I hate driving out and handing out my stuff, and then that’s driven to Vermont and sorted again,” voter Jen Cooke said.

Voters also strongly rejected, on a 282-198 vote, a proposed zoning amendment that would have changed what’s known as “lot size averaging,” a practice that proponents said could help with cluster development.

Also on the ballot were two contested Selectboard seats. Ben Kilham won 319 votes to defeat two-term incumbent Sue MacKenzie, who took 189 votes.

And Judith Lee Shelnutt Brotman defeated C. Jay Smith, 310-170, for the remaining year left on Rusty Keith’s term. Keith is stepping down from the board.

On the School Board, Yolanda Bujarski defeated Vincent Berk, 291-137, and Phil Barta outpaced Becky Wipfler, 377-353.

Daniela Vidal Allee can be reached at dallee@vnews.com or 603-727-3211.