Budgets and contested races highlight ballots

> Over the coming weeks, Souhegan Valley voters will decide on millions of dollars’ worth of spending for their towns and schools and elect town and school officials.

Election Day for all towns and school districts is Tuesday, March 8, when those that operate under Senate Bill 2 will make their decisions.

In Amherst, there is a $450,000 bond on the warrant to buy 230 acres of con­servation land between County and Spring roads.

Members of an Amherst reform group called Working for Great Schools are trying to seat a slate of candidates on the Souhegan Coopera­tive School Board. And Board of Se­lectmen incumbents are being chal­lenged by a retired chief of police.

In Milford, a plan to spend $5.6 mil­lion on a new public library is a big issue, the second year in a row the project is on the ballot. The Budget Committee favors the plan and select­men voted against it, saying this isn’t the right time.

Also on the Milford ballot for a sec­ond time is a non-money item to allow the town to sell earth materials – sand and gravel – from the Brox property.

A vocal group called Brox Environ­mental Citizens is opposed, while officials say selling gravel and oth­er materials would give the town badly needed revenue.

Milford will also choose a town clerk for the first time in 23 years.

On the school side, two longtime Milford School Board members are being challenged by the chairman of the district’s Advisory Budget Committee, who says spending cuts are justified because the district’s revenue and enrollment numbers are dropping.

Also on the Milford School Dis­trict ballot is a $3 million bond for repairs and improvements to the schools.

Mont Vernon still has Town Meet­ing, and on the evening of Wednes­day, March 9, voters will gather to decide on the town’s $2.2 million operating budget, as well as wheth­er to spend $50,000 for engineering and architectural studies of three municipal buildings: the McCollom Building, Town Hall and the Da­land Library.

The Mont Vernon School District operates under Senate Bill 2, and Election Day voters will see a peti­tion article for full-day kindergar­ten. Although the Village School is in its second year of a full-day pro­gram, the petitioners say taxpayers were never asked if they wanted to fund the program.

Wilton voters will decide about hiring a town administrator and buying a wood pellet heating sys­tem for Town Hall. Both of those changes are supported by select­men and opposed by the Budget Committee.

For the Lyndeborough Town Meeting, there is a $1.6 million bond on the warrant for rebuilding Mountain Road and a petition ar­ticle to reactivate the fire signal on Citizens’ Hall.

The Wilton-Lyndeborough Co­operative School District annual meeting will feature a $12 million operating budget that has the sup­port of the Budget Committee and School Board.