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Kingston seeks to preserve land

KINGSTON - The purchase of 150 acres of land for conservation and a new ambulance and fire vehicle are among the proposals up for debate at Saturday's deliberative session.

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the town hall and will be the only chance for voters to discuss and amend the town budget and proposed warrant articles before a final vote March 12.

Topping the warrant is the town's proposed budget, totaling $4,727,673. If the budget plan fails, the town will operate with a $4,596,618 default budget.

Other spending proposals include a citizen-petitioned warrant article seeking $424,000 to purchase approximately 150 acres of land in the Rockrimmon area. The purchase would be made using money in a land acquisition capital reserve fund and permanently conserved through federal and state funding and private sources. The Southeast Land Trust, a nonprofit conservation organization, would hold a conservation easement on the property.

Voters will also be asked to spend $33,000 to buy a new pickup truck to replace the fire department's 23-year-old utility truck while a second article seeks $195,000 to replace a 12-year-old ambulance with a new one. The vehicle would be paid for using money in an ambulance replacement special revenue fund.

Also up for discussion is a warrant article seeking $150,000 to renovate the Grace Daley House at 165 Main St. The town-owned building next to town hall is now used for a clothing thrift shop. Neither selectmen nor the budget committee support the proposal. If it fails, selectmen have recommended a second article seeking to raze the building because it is unsafe.

A citizen-petitioned article asks voters to establish a Heritage Commission while another seeks $2,500 to be placed in a preservation fund to protect Powwow Pond from exotic plant species.

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