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Many contested races to be decided March 12

Allenstown voters will be asked to consider the replacement of an aging fire truck pumper, along with town and school budgets and decide several town and school races.

Town

Town officials hope a five-year lease agreement on a fire truck, which spreads out the cost, and provides an escape clause in that agreement, will warm voters up to the warrant article.

If approved, the decision will replace fire truck pumpers dating back to 1974 and 1981 through a five-year lease totaling $420,720.70. The warrant will raise $84,140.54 for the first-year payment. There is also an escape clause in the lease agreement, allowing the town to back out at a later date.

The fire truck warrant has an estimated tax impact of 31 cents per $1,000 of property value, or $77.50 more on a $250,000 home.

The proposed operating budget for the town of Allenstown is $5,469,001, with a default budget at $5,493,919.

“(According to our estimates, the tax rate on the town side is) going to go from $9.30 per $1,000 to $9.11 per $1,000, so it’s a reduction with the town operating budget,” said interim Town Administrator Shaun Mulholland. “That doesn’t include warrant articles for the town.”

The local school tax rate is estimated at $10.01 per $1,000. Between the two then, on a $250,000 home, the town tax would come to $4,780.

Mulholland cautioned, however, that these figures are simply estimates and are subject to change.

“People need to understand that’s just an estimate, because it all depends on a lot of factors,” he said. “Based on what we know today, that’s what it should be, but we can’t guarantee its going to go down by that.”

School

The school warrant includes two collective bargaining agreements, a proposed operating budget of $9,461,271 (default at $9,521,193), and the establishment of an emergency reserve fund.

Candidates

Seven contested races will also be decided at the election. Stephanie Cheney and Kathleen Rogers are up for town clerk. Incumbent Selectman Jeffrey Gryval will square off against Conservation Commission chairman and Planning Board member Robert E. Lee.

Two Sewer Commission races are also up – the first between incumbent Carl Caporale, wastewater administrative assistant Andrea Martel and former commissioner and current Planning Board Chairman Jim Rodger; the second between incumbent chairman Jeff McNamara and former Planning Board member John Anderson.

There is a three-way race for road agent between incumbent Ronnie Pellissier, Daniel Blais and Chris Roy; a race for library trustee between Pauline Boutin and Christine Frost; and a race for School Board between Lawrence Anderson and Andrea Martel.

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