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Strafford voters asked to add police officer, paramedic

STRAFFORD - When the town meeting convenes Saturday, the residents will discuss hiring a full-time police officer and a full-time paramedic, consider a petition article to start saving to improve the library and increase the budget by 2.5 percent.

Residents will elect officials when polls open Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Strafford School and the annual Town Meeting is scheduled to begin Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Article 10 would appropriate $1,183,572 for the operating budget - which does not include the budgets of police, firefighters or rescue squad. It is $29,248, or 2.5 percent, larger than last year's budget of $1,154,324.

If approved, Articles 5 and 7 would appropriate $462,674 for the operation and maintenance of police and $229,592 for the Fire Department and Rescue Squad.

Articles 4 and 6 ask residents to hire a full-time police officer and a full-time paramedic, respectively, and allocate $33,895 and $36,669 to cover the salary and benefits of both positions.

If approved, Article 11 would have the town accept ownership of the Hill Library and the related fixtures, which have been donated by the Strafford Library Association, and to continue operations at the public library.

Article 12 petitions residents to appropriate $25,000 to establish a capital reserve fund to help expand and improve the library. The library trustees would be named as agents to expend this fund, if created.

Selectmen do not recommend this article.

If approved, Article 3 would appropriate $358,000 for capital road improvements, including work on drainage, culverts, gravel and paving.

Article 2 would accept a $240,000 grant and draw $60,000 from the Bridge Repairs Capital Reserve Fund to design and construct a $300,000 replacement bridge along First Crown Point Road.

If approved, Article 8 would draw $26,083 from the Rescue Vehicle and Equipment Fund to make the final payment on a two-year lease of an ambulance, which would then be owned by the town.

Article 9 asks residents to appropriate $1,500 for the Ready Rides Program, which provides free curb-to-curb transportation for medical appointments.

jquinn@newstote.com


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