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Road work, town budget tops Northwood issues

NORTHWOOD - In anticipation of Town Meeting in March, residents this Saturday will discuss bonding road maintenance, buying a new ambulance, appointing two elected officials and a slight increase to the budget.

The deliberative session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the auditorium of Coe-Brown Northwood Academy at 907 First N.H. Turnpike.

Article 5 would appropriate $3,303,012 as the town's operating budget. It is $27,547 - or .8 percent - larger than last year's budget of $3,275,465. If defeated in March, a $3,303,352 default budget will be enacted.

.If approved, Article 2 would authorize the town to take out a 10-year bond for $750,000 to pay for road improvements.

Officials plan to take advantage of low interest rates, estimated at 2 percent, and use funds from State Highway Block Grants to make the annual payments.

.Article 4 asks residents to adopt the provisions of RSA 31:95-c which requires all revenues from the State Highway Block Grant to be placed in a special revenue fund and be used for highway expenditures and related bond payments. If Article 2 fails, this article becomes null.

.In other considerations, Article 3 would allow the town to enter into a $227,572 lease-to-own agreement to buy and equip a new ambulance, which would replace the fire department's 2007 vehicle. It would also draw $48,617 from the Fire/Rescue Vehicle Replacement Special Revenue Fund for the first of five years of payments.

.Articles 9 and 10 would change the positions of town treasurer and highway (road) agent from an elected role to an appointed position. As a result, the town would be able to establish standards for performance for financial operation or maintaining the roads of the community.

.Article 20 petitions residents to appropriate $15,681.12 to change deputy town clerk/tax collector to a full-time position.

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