Woodstock selectmen take early look at 2013 budget
At last week’s selectmen’s meeting, Woodstock Town Manager Vern Maxfield presented highlights of expected new expenses in the 2013 municipal budget.
The discussion was the first and very preliminary step in the budget-building process.
Among noteworthy items so far are $20,000 for a records preservation project, $25,000 for a new one-ton truck (to replace a 2008 truck); $5,000 for a new airpack for the Fire Department; and funds for repair of the Union Church foundation in South Woodstock.
The records project would preserve old hand-written birth, death and marriage certificates, as well as town clerk records from the past. Maxfield said most of those are also now saved as computer files. He proposed using the $20,000 annual payment to the town from Spruce Mountain Wind LLC for the project.
Maxfield also said he tentatively dropped the budget amount to be set aside for the G&W Transfer Station from $100,000 this year to $90,000, because tipping fees are going down.
In other business the board discussed several property-related issues.
Jan Kendrick also met with selectmen regarding noise issues from hunting/shooting courses at the 4-H Camp. All expressed hope the situation could be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction.
Code Enforcement Officer Joelle-Corey Whitman reported on several properties for which she has been working the owners to get them cleaned up, including ones on South and North Main streets and the Perkins Valley Road.
She also provided an update on illegal tree-cutting on the property of Ken Roberts on North Pond. She said he has not yet paid a $1,875 fine imposed, and the board decided to up the penalty if payment is not received by Jan. 15.
The board also discussed using $460 from the Conservation Commission budget that typically supports scholarships to the 4-H Camp to build a walking trail near the Woodstock Elementary School. Maxfield said no one had applied for the camp scholarships this year.
The Fire Department has applied for two grants, according to firefighter Tom Hartford. One would be in the amount of $24,000 for traffic control trailers, and the other to obtain house numbers for residents to aid firefighters in locating homes during a fire call.
Hartford said the WFD had 123 calls this year, most of them traffic-accident related.
Chairman Bob Elliot of the Wind Ordinance Committee reported that the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments is doing a technical review of a proposed ordinance the committee crafted. It will then be ready to go to the town attorney. The board approved spending up to $1,000 for that purpose. Townspeople are expected to vote on the ordinance at the annual town meeting in March.
The G&W is purchasing a new backhoe for $29,500 in Cumberland, Selectman Rick Young said. The 580 SuperL Case has 4,200 hours on it, he said.
A special town meeting also took place the same evening. A handful of voters approved $24,843 from the 2012 Overlay Account to cover unanticipated expenses in the Highway and Municipal Utilities Accounts.