Selectboard Race, Building Sale on Randolph Town Warning

Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, February 24, 2017

The annual School District Meeting for the Orange Southwest Unified Union District will be held Monday, March 6, at 6 p.m. at Randolph Union High School. Randolph Town Meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at Chandler Music Hall. Voting on ballot articles for both town and school runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 7 at the Town Hall.

Randolph — Voters are being asked to settle a three-way race for an open Selectboard seat and to approve a $2.8 million general fund budget and a $1.75 million highway fund.

Spending on the two budgets plus the library and capital projects would decrease by about $12,000, or 0.25 percent, from the current year, according to Town Manager Mel Adams.

If all spending is approved, the municipal tax rate would dip by just under 2 cents per $100 of valuation, to almost 76 cents per $100 of valuation, an almost 2.2 percent decrease, thanks in part to some grants the town has received, Adams said.

Among measures voters will decide is whether to sell a former medical building at 45 South Main St. The town had acquired it in 2016 as a possible site for a new police station, but Randolph now is planning to build the police station on part of the former Branchwood mill site off South Pleasant Street, according to Adams.

“It’s 30 years old itself, and it’s an octagon,” Adams said of the medical building. “So after a lot of engineering work and coordination with architects, it was determined it wasn’t going to suit the needs of a police department that would have to be there for 40 years.”

Meanwhile, construction on a new fire station for the Randolph Village Fire Department is expected to start in April. It will replace a station destroyed in a September 2015 fire.

The rough estimate for the project is now $2.6 million, but the town is still working out a settlement with the insurance company, and hopes the cost to taxpayers will be at or below $2 million. Voters approved a bond for the project last year.

In the race to succeed Selectwoman Marjorie Ryerson, who stepped down last year, Tom Harty, Larry Satcowitz and Jim Sault are all running for the two-year seat. Harty is a former trooper and pastor of United Church of Bethel. Satcowitz is a math and computer applications teacher and serves on the Randolph Recreation Committee. Sault is general manager of Porter Music Box. 

Selectwoman Trini Brassard is unopposed for a three-year term.

Meanwhile, this will also be Adams’ last town manager report for the town. He plans to retire by August after five years on the job.

Adams, who turns 70 in April, also served an earlier stint as town manager in Randolph, as well.

“A strength of this community is its acceptance of the need to maintain infrastructure and its willingness to invest consistently in that maintenance,” he wrote in his manager’s report.

The proposed $16.3 million school budget for Orange Southwest would result in education spending of $15,070 per equalized pupil. School Board members Anne Black Cone and Ann Howard are unopposed for re-election.  A public hearing and budget informational hearing on the municipal budget will be held on Monday, March 6, at 7 p.m., in the Town Hall Conference Room B.

News staff writer John Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com.