2013 Town Meetings
By Brenda Seekins, Correspondent
ST. ALBANS — The town’s annual business was over in record time Saturday, with about 40 people turning out for less than two hours to act on 40 articles in the annual Town Meeting warrant.
Moderator Michael Wiers moved business along with few questions and just one proposed amendment, which was defeated by a show of hands. The proposal suggested the town “bite the bullet” and raise an additional $25,000 to apply a new standing-seam metal roof to the 100-year-old Town Hall. Despite several suggestions that metal was the best and most economical long-term solution, however, voters decided not to fund a replacement when only a small repair might be required. Town Manager Rhonda Stark reported that recent wind had blown shingles off the roof, and the south side of the building was found to be aging faster than the north. The roof was reshingled 10 to 12 years ago. The general consensus appeared to favor a special town meeting if a more thorough review of the damage finds that replacement still is needed. Stark said she had planned to budget for the roof replacement in 2014. Without discussion, voters also passed an amendment to the town’s obscenity ordinance that prohibits convicted sex offenders from living within 750 feet of a school or municipally owned property primarily used by children. The ban does not apply to identified sex offenders living in those zones before the amendment was adopted. In elections Friday, voters approved a bond referendum, 114–78, allocating $650,000 for a paving program and improvements to Mason Corner, Bigelow and Grant roads, and High and Water streets. A second bond question about spending $150,000 to repair and pave Pond Road was defeated, 68–118. Incumbents re-elected included Selectman Daniel Hanson, Town Clerk Stacey Desrosiers and Road Commissioner Ronald Finson. Gregory Crump, Eleanor Davids, Shelda Madigan and Scott Seekins were elected to the Budget Committee. With the municipal budget approved, residents voted by a final written ballot to exceed the tax levy limit set by the state. According to Stark, the current tax rate of $18.20 per $1,000 of valuation could increase $1 per $1,000. The final tax rate will not be known until the school and county tax assessments are determined.