Hollis town meeting passes all 18 warrant articles Wednesday night

HOLLIS – All 17 of Hollis’ voting warrant articles passed Wednesday, March 12, and, except for a resolution to get big money out of politics, saw virtually no opposition from residents.

Selectman Peter Band said the support for the approval of the $9,194,270 operating budget was the most important vote of the night.

“The budget was the largest amount and lots of work goes into that,” Band said. “We have a really good diverse group that bring a lot of business experience to the (budget) committee.”

Band said the selectmen came in $11,000 under the town’s proposed budget and, while Band realizes the that amount is not overly significant, he said it proves the he and other members of the budget committee has kept their eye on the ball.

Band also commended the passage of the first six warrant articles, which included the purchase of leases for accounting software, a grader, a tractor, two dump trucks and a pickup truck.

“Because interest rates are so low, we were able to get very favorable terms,” Band said. “Under these lease terms, we lease (the equiptment) for five years and then buy it for a dollar.”

Band said the interest rates were below 2 percent and the vehicles will likely have 10 years of life after the lease is completed.

Band also presented Article 11, which related to appropriating $50,000 to the Old Home Day Special Revenue Fund. The passage of the article does not affect the tax rate, as the funds used will be raised via fees paid to the town and donations collected.

However, Band said Old Home Day is at risk of not taking place this year for the first time since he moved into Hollis 13 years ago.

“We are in danger of not having Old Home Day because we have no director,” Band said.

Town Administrator Troy Brown was pleased with the result of Wednesday’s Town Meeting and said all the passed articles were important.

“We only bring forward warrant articles we need,” Brown said. “It’s a really good feeling to see the town support all of the articles.”

Brown said the Town Meeting’s action will help with continuing to provide “top notch services” to Hollis’ taxpayers while keeping their tax rates stable.

The tax rate in Hollis, assessed at $6.25 per $1,000 this year, increases to $6.29 per $1,000 assessed value.

The passage of Article 8, which will raise $87,000 to repave the parking lot at Hollis’ fire station, was another action Brown said was well needed.

“The parking lot is at the point of failure and has been put off for several years because of other capital projects,” Brown said.

Brown said the number for the new parking lot was high because the lot is in such disrepair that the remaining asphalt will need to be removed. He expects the parking lot to be completed by fall.

The last article on this year’s warrant, Article 18, endorses a Constitutional amendment to rein in big spending on political campaigns. While Band said the article attracted “a lively discussion,” the article passed 67 to 46 and will prompt the selectmen to send a letter to the state governor, the American president and the state’s congressional delegation informing them of the vote.

Bradford Randall can be reached at 594-6557 or brandall@nash uatelegraph.com. Also, follow Randall on Twitter (@telegraph_bradr).