Town Warrant focuses on reserve funds

LYNDEBOROUGH – Town Meeting should be quiet and short this year, because all but two of the nine special articles concern contributions to various capital reserve funds.

The Budget Committee discussed the articles at a hearing on Feb. 8 that was attended by four residents.

The Warrant also includes a Planning Board proposal concerning home occupations and the budget.

Voters will be asked to change the purpose of a capital reserve fund established in 1993 to cover costs if the old Wilton-

Lyndeborough dump needed to be sealed. The open dump was changed to a landfill, which was capped when the recycling center was constructed in the early 1970s. The town made its last contribution to the fund in 2003. The fund contains about $82,688.

“If anything needs to be done now,” Chairman Burton Reynolds said, “it will cost so much, this $80,000 won’t mean anything.”

The site is monitored by the state and, so far, there has been no leakage.

The selectmen are asking that the fund be changed to “replacement and repair of Fire Department equipment (excluding vehicles).”

“We thought the money shouldn’t be just sitting around,” Reynolds said.

An example of use of the fund is air packs that have to replaced periodically. This year’s budget includes the last payment on the current upgrade. Use of the fund would tend to keep the budget even.

Also proposed is a warrant article to establish a capital reserve fund for ambulance replacement.

“We used to have one,” Reynolds said, but it was discontinued when Wilton took over the service. Originally, it was a private enterprise.

“We still have to pay our share of a new vehicle, and this will cover that,” he said.

To offset the costs of the Mountain Road project, $1.6 million over 10 years, the Capital Improvements Committee rearranged payment schedules and made some changes.

“We have learned that we can buy some of our larger pieces of equipment, such as the grader, used rather than new, at a huge savings,” Reynolds said.

Contributions, some reduced, will still be made to funds for replacement of the 1994 pumper and 1984 tanker, the purchase of a new rescue vehicle, the 2008 Volvo dump truck, the 2008 backhoe, the 2016 one-ton dump truck and the 2016 midsize dump truck.