Wilton voters OK most articles

WILTON – Voters at Town Meeting on Thursday, March 12, approved everything on the warrant except one article, then took care of objections to that one by increasing the budget by $5,800.

The amended budget, adopted with little discussion, is $4,781,856, an increase of 2.75 percent over last year.

Dedicating a portion of the land use change tax to the Conservation Commission’s Land Acquisition Fund has been debated several times over the years with selectmen and budget committee opposed. This year, the Commission asked for 50 percent of the tax with a $20,000 cap. Chairman Bart Hunter said the fund is needed to match grants and to allow the commission to act on properties that become available during the year and can’t wait for Town Meeting.

Budget Committee member Joe Torre argued that there is no oversight by officials as to how funds are spent, it is totally up to the Commission, and that the Commission does not have a conservation plan.

Hunter said a plan was being developed with the Nashua Regional Planning Commission but they lacked the money to complete it. The commission has an annual appropriation of $5,700.

In the end, the article was tabled until a plan had been developed. Selectman Chairman Bill Condra later suggested the addition to the budget, which was approved.

Voters approved spending $58,773 for energy conservation improvements to Town Hall; $10,859 for a handicapped ramp ; $43,000 for a cruiser; $73,000 for a highway department truck; and $31,000 for perimeter drains at the library. Another $17,000 was approved as a contingency fund for more extensive work at the library.

The ambulance service will purchase a second stretcher for $19,000 if Lyndeborough and Temple agree to share costs.

Fire Chief Ray Dick said the department needs a new compressor for filling their air tanks. Voters approved spending $36,000 .

Appropriations were made to several capital reserve funds: for an ambulance, $32,000 ; a property revaluation fund, $15,000 ; $100,000 for fire equipment; and $50,000 for highway equipment.

Voters approved raising veterans’ property tax credit from $250 to $350, and adopted a tax credit for totally disabled veterans of $1,500.