It was a sparse agenda at the selectboard’s first meeting of the new year Monday night. Primary among items discussed was the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. To be explored is the possibility of borrowing funds to replace the highway department garage, windows in the old library building and upgrading/replacing the current police station. The town will look into the feasibility of securing funding that will allow it to address these projects simultaneously. FY 2016 budget sheets have also been distributed to all departments and are due to be returned by Jan. 23.
The updated Community Development Strategy has been submitted and all paperwork pertaining to the town’s regional community block grant application has been turned in to the Franklin Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA). The grant application is due to the state by Feb. 13, and awards will be announced during the summer months. If grant money is awarded to the town, projects would commence sometime in the fall.
A new town policy pertaining to care of roadways in the winter months is being created. This will include classification of streets in order to prioritize the order of plowing and sanding, and place limits on the amount of time plow/sander drivers can be out on the roads. The hope is that the policy will be complete and ready for a vote by the next meeting.
The town has received a notice from W.D. Cowls, Inc., regarding trail systems throughout the town. The company has asked that the town refrain from using any of its timberland property from trail projects the town may undertake, and the board agreed to honor that request.
Town coordinator Nancy Aldrich announced that after following up on questions from the 1794 Meetinghouse Board of directors from the last meeting, any repairs done to the roof of that structure will not be bound by prevailing wage laws. While the Meetinghouse is owned by the town, there is a long-term lease in place that allows for the lessee to make necessary repairs without being held to the same standard of the town itself. The Meetinghouse is also looking into the possibility of having the sheriff’s department become involved with the re-painting of the building when the weather allows.
Work on the Annual Town Report will commence this month, with thought being given to the cover as well as putting together content from the various boards and committees throughout the town. The report will be released during the spring around the time of the Annual Town Meeting.
The town library has requested that surplus equipment, which consists of three double-sided bookcases, six chairs and possibly a desk, be moved in order to free up space in the library. The board agreed to allow storage at the town hall until the spring, at which time it will be decided whether to sell, donate, or otherwise dispose of the equipment.
Residents Press for Specifics on Building Plan